Six school children missing in PNG bad weather

3:51 pm on 24 July 2015

Nine people are missing, six of whom are children and one person is dead as poor weather continues to hit Papua New Guinea.

A search crew of at least 70 is using a helicopter, dinghies, and a larger workboat to search for the missing people in Milne Bay Province.

The acting provincial disaster coordinator, Steve Tobessa, says weeks of strong winds and huge swells have caught people out and many are failing to check the conditions before heading out onto the water.

He says the nine people have been missing for almost a week but he remains hopeful they will be found alive.

"We've had people from within the province that drifted as far as Solomon Islands, they were out at sea for twenty days and we picked them up and brought them back so I'm still optimistic."

Steven Tobessa says family members and the availablility of search and rescue resources will be considered before the search is called off.

Papua New Guinea coastal.

Papua New Guinea coastal. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades