10 Feb 2012

PNG ferry disaster survivors reeling, says Momis

4:11 pm on 10 February 2012

The President of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville says the survivors of the sinking of the Rabaul Queen are reeling from the injustice of the disaster.

About 44 Bougainvilleans, many of them students, are thought to be among the about 100 who lost their lives.

This week President John Momis spent time in Lae in Morobe with the several dozen Bougainvilleans who survived the ordeal.

He says they feel they don't know what hit them and this coupled with the deaths of mates and the notoriety of a shipping company which ignored advice not to sail has added to the sense of distress and loss.

Mr Momis gave the survivors some financial support from his government to cover school fees and pocket money for immediate needs.

"And also helping to repatriate any one of them who may wish to withdraw from their studies due to trauma, and also repatriating the relatives who came, not too many, but we do have some family members who went to Lae when they heard their loved ones were lost at sea."