Ferry Sinks With 350 People Aboard

2 Feb

Australian Rescue Authorities fear as many as 100 people may have died following the Papua New Guinea disaster in which the MV Rabaul Queen Ferry sank.

Nearby merchant vessels raced to the scene to help people stranded in the water, along with helicopters and Australian fixed wing aircraft. Within 12 hours 238 people had been retrieved from the waves and there were reports from vessels sighting survivors on life rafts. Many more are missing.

The 47m ferry had been on its way to Lae, on a return trip from a popular diving spot called Kimbe on the island of New Britain, when it sank 9 nautical miles from Finschhafen on the north coast. There were reports at the time of 40 knot winds and 5m swells, although it is not clear if either of these attributed to the disaster.

Peter O’Neill, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, has stated that there will be a full investigation into the tragedy by the government.

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