Weather watch: Mariners told to stop unnecessary travels

MARINERS nationwide are urged to put on hold unnecessary travel, particularly on small boats, to avoid tragedy and putting other peoples’ lives at risk.

Fiji Police chief of operations ACP Maretino Qiolevu made the comment following a number of reports of accidents at sea as the wet weather spell and unfavourable maritime conditions continue to be experienced around the country over the past few days.

Last Saturday, two fishermen who went out on a fishing trip in Bua waters were reported missing when they failed to return home.

ACP Qiolevu said the search continued this morning by officers from the Nabouwalu Police Station.

Yesterday, Police in the Eastern Division activated a search and rescue operation for a 15-year-old student who was swept away by strong currents at the Naselai beach in Kiuva, Tailevu.

The search for the two missing fishermen continues this morning by officers based at the Nabouwalu Police Station.

Also yesterday, the Fiji Navy rescued four passengers on board a vessel after a report was received yesterday from an employee of the Lautoka Ports that the four were experiencing engine problems between Lautoka and Vuda Point and were drifting.

ACP Qiolevu said at 9pm, the passengers were rescued and transported safely to the Vuda Marina.

With the current weather warnings in place members of the public need to adhere to the safety advisories being issued.

“Mariners must put on hold unnecessary travel, particularly on small boats, to avoid tragedy as you are not only putting your own lives in danger but that of others who will have to conduct the search and rescue operations,” ACP Qiolevu said.

“Please listen to the weather updates and stay clear of flooded areas.”

Members of the public are also advised to call the Police National Command Center on 9905 296 if they need assistance or information.

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