29 Dec 2014

3 bodies in abandoned trawler's hold in Bougainville

6:20 pm on 29 December 2014

Authorities in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville are still to find out the cause of the deaths of 3 men whose bodies have been found in the freezer of an abandoned fishing vessel.

The provincial disaster relief co-ordinator, Franklin Lacey, says the vessel, thought to be a foreign fishing boat operating illegally, ran aground on remote Paona Island a month ago.

He says they still know little about the vessel, though much of the superstructure has been burnt in an apparent arson.

"The report was sent to us on the 18th of this month and they say the top part of the ship has been burnt but luckily it didn't burn the whole ship. And there are confirmed three dead bodies in the fridge, with the catch, for the last month."

Franklin Lacey says he has sent an investigation team, including a doctor, to the island.

He says he believes the vessel's other crew were picked up by a mother ship.