31 Dec 2015

Solomons sea search for three still difficult

4:48 pm on 31 December 2015

Bad weather continues to hamper search efforts in Solomon Islands for three people believed to be adrift in a boat between Isabel and Guadalcanal.

The director of the Solomon Islands Maritime Safety says a search rescue boat dispatched yesterday was forced to turn back by rough seas and a helicopter search did not make any sighting of the missing boat.

Tim Harris says search efforts resume today with a police patrol boat joining in to widen the search area to seas around the neighbouring Malaita province.

Mr Harris says it is unfortunate the incident occurred between Christmas and New Year as there are no commercial vessels in the area to join in the search and his department has no craft of its own to send into the search area.

"So that is the latest situation they have not been sighted, we are still looking. But I believe that the weather is improving there and the low pressure system is moving away to the East. So we are still confident that we will find some evidence of what has happened to this boat."

Authorities were alerted to the men's plight earlier in the week by relatives who said they had been in mobile phone contact with the people on the boat who told them they were experiencing mechanical problems with their 40 horsepower outboard motor.

coast line

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