20 Jun 2012

Vanuatu search for eight missing at sea may be called off

4:39 am on 20 June 2012

Vanuatu police may look to call off a search for eight people who went missing after their boat capsized during a trip from Emae to the capital, Port Vila.

The boat got into trouble last Wednesday in waves as high as five metres.

The police say three people managed to swim for about two hours to reach Matasso island to alert authorities, but no one has been found since.

The acting police commissioner, Arthur Caulton, says they have 27 staff searching for the missing people, but they will only search for seven days.

He says they cannot predict if the people are still alive, but he says no one can survive at sea for a week.