2 Jul 2010

Lack of funds prevents PNG sea rescue efforts

12:57 pm on 2 July 2010

Disaster services in the Papua New Guinea province of Morobe have no money to be able to search for five young men missing for the past week at sea.

The men and three others were travelling from Siassi to Lae when their dinghy capsized.

Our correspondent in Lae, Oseah Philemon, says two survivors have reached the coast and the body of a baby has been recovered, but there is no sign of the other five.

"There is no actual official search because the Morobe Disaster and Emergency Services have no money. All their money was exhausted during the cholera operation and now they have got no funds. People are concerned that the Disaster Office is not operating, I mean it is operating but people are still in the office, they can't move anywhere because they have got no more funds. And it's serious because they are the ones who are supposed to attend to things like this."