3 Feb 2012

100 still missing in PNG ferry disaster

6:49 am on 3 February 2012

Rescue officials in Papua New Guinea say it is too early to speculate on the cause of a ferry sinking in which 100 people are believed to still be missing.

The MV Rabaul Queen sank about 16 kilometres off Finschhafen on PNG's north east coast while on its way from Kimbe on the island of New Britain to the mainland city of Lae.

Megan Whelan reports.

"The owners of the ferry, Rabaul Shipping Company, say they are devastated by the disaster. They have confirmed 350 passengers and 12 crew were onboard. Authorities said late last night that 219 survivors had been rescued. The National Maritime Safety Authority's, Captain Nurur Rahman, says it's too early to know what caused the sinking. He says the focus is on rescuing those in peril, but rough seas have been hampering rescue efforts. This is MW."