31 Jan 2020

Search called off for 9 lost at sea in Solomons

9:22 am on 31 January 2020

Nine people lost at sea in Solomon Islands are now presumed dead with the official search called off.

Solomon Islands police boat.

Solomon Islands police boat. Photo: Royal Solomon Islands Police Force

The group of five men, two women and two children set out from Gizo, the capital of Western Province on 15 January heading for South Choiseul province.

Five days after their disappearance their outboard motor canoe was found capsized and adrift in the waters of neighbouring Isabel province.

The Solomon Star reported a chief from South Choiseul, Rence Zama, saying the search had been called off last week.

Mr Zama said only the boat and some belongings were found stretched across two provinces.

Police have urged people planning island crossings to make sure they have functioning safety equipment, extra supplies and to monitor the weather closely.