11 (including 3 children) missing at sea

A search and rescue operation has been launched for 11 people, including 3 children, who have been missing at sea since Tuesday (December 29, 2014), The National reports.

It is reported that the missing had left Baluan Island in Manus on a 23ft dinghy powered by two 40hp engines and were expected to arrive at Pana Island in Madang the next day.

The dinghy left Baluan for Panna Island. Image from climatechallengervoyage.net
Relatives reported the dinghy missing last Friday and a search and rescue operation was organized on Monday. It was also reported that a relative saw a miscall from one of the missing on Sunday.

Disaster & Emergency authorities say they will coordinate with the mobile carrier to pinpoint where the miscall originated and assist in the rescue operation. It is believed that the dinghy may be drifting toward Wuvulu Islands.

Meanwhile the National Weather Service has issued strong wind warnings for people traveling by sea.

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