Hope fades for three missing after Solomons boat capsizes

9:48 am on 4 January 2019

Hopes of finding three people missing in a Solomon Islands lagoon are fading, as the search effort is hampered by poor weather.

The missing people were on board a boat carrying five others which capsized in the Marovo Lagoon in the New Georgia Islands on December 31.

Four people swam to shore but police found the body of another who had drowned.

Chief Superintendent Mathias Lenialu said the people were friends, who were travelling to Seghe to go shopping.

"Out of this eight there were two females. Two of them [aged] 25 to 30 and most of them [aged] 30 to 35. Yes, the search is still continuing," he said in an interview.

"Police and local community people around this area are still coming and searching for the missing three persons."

Mr Lenialu said the search would likely be called off on Friday if nothing was found.

Jonah Mitau, the acting director of the Maritime Safety Association, said extreme weather had hampered the search, with the country affected by a tropical depression for much of the past week.

"Currently the weather is still very rough, the sea is very rough and the winds are very strong. I would say that really really affects the search. It is the winds."