12 Jul 2014

Two still missing after Vanuatu tragedy

7:34 am on 12 July 2014

Disaster officials in Vanuatu say two people are dead and two others missing after a ferry capsized and sank early Friday morning.

Vanuatu Prime Minister Joe Natuman

Vanuatu Prime Minister Joe Natuman Photo: Supplied

The MV MGY had set out from Malekula, heading towards the capital, Port Vila, and sent out a distress call in the early hours of the morning.

It's understood the vessel was carrying 41 people when it capsized.

The Director of the National Disaster Management Office, Shadrach Welegtabit, says 37 passengers and crew have been rescued and two bodies recovered.

Among the dead are believed to be a baby and a crew member who tried to save it.

Mr Welegtabit says police are now taking statements from passengers and crew to find out what happened.

The Prime Minister, Joe Natuman, has expressed his condolences to the victims and commended those involved in the rescue.

His office says the government's next steps will be decided on Monday, after Mr Natuman has had a full briefing.