28 Apr 2005

Search for missing Solomons fishing boat called off

8:18 pm on 28 April 2005

The search in Solomon Islands for a fishing boat missing for two weeks has been suspended.

The 17-metre vessel Ability, with seven crew members on board, was reported missing on April 13 in waters off Isabel Province, north-west of Honiara.

Five of the vessel's original crew landed on the north-west coast of Malaita on March 20th after paddling for up to a week in a fibreglass boat.

The Honiara-based fishing vessel reportedly lost all communications and developed engine trouble after last being reported 24 nautical miles north off Santa Isabel island.

A Honiara Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre officer, Peter Young, says the air and sea search had been suspended after nothing was found during an extensive search over recent days.