Quick action by PNG Ports Corporation Limited (PNG Ports) saw the rescue of nine youths whose dinghy capsized near the Motukea Port, in Port Moresby, last Saturday.
A distress radio call by cargo vessel, Kumul Arrow, who was anchored in Fairfax harbour, alerted the PNG Ports Operations, Pilotage and vessel tracking services (VTS) teams who were on weekend duty at the Motukea Port.
The distress call was sent after officers on board Kumul Arrow noticed the all-male crew, between the ages of 12 and 25, trying their best to swim ashore after their dinghy capsized between Gemo Island and the ship.
The group were returning from Gemo Island at about 5pm after a picnic but their dinghy, a 23ft 40 horsepower, ran out of fuel. The dinghy capsized when the motor switched off and a huge wave hit them as a result of strong winds that afternoon.
PNG Ports immediately sent out a pilot boat to rescue them after receiving the distress call where they were taken to safety at around 6:30pm.
PNG Ports’ Chief Operations Officer, Rodney Begley, thanked the teams on duty for the swift response and for saving lives in rough seas.
Mr Begley commended the brave efforts of the VTS and Pilotage teams for risking their own lives to save that of the youths.
Managing Director of PNG Ports, Fego Kiniafa, urged small craft owners to pay attention to strong wind warnings and make sure there is enough fuel before travelling out to sea.
“Warnings by relevant authorities, such as the National Maritime Safety Authority and weather services have to be taken seriously as mishaps out at sea happen anytime.”
“Such incidences have been common in recent times throughout the country where some have perished out at sea and it is very important that all safety measures, including the use of life jackets are followed,” Mr Kiniafa said.
He thanked Kumul Arrow for sending out the distress call and the Operations, Pilotage and VTS teams at PNG Ports for the swift action in the rescue mission on Saturday.