22 Jun 2002

A search begins today for another boat missing in Fiji waters

4:50 am on 22 June 2002

Another eleven people have been reported missing at sea in Fiji.

They left Kubuloa on the southern Vanua Levu coast for Koro Island in an open boat yesterday before dawn but failed to arrive at their destination.

An air and sea search for the villagers will begin early today.

The search for the first group of eleven who went missing early on Monday morning has been called off because they are believed dead and kinsmen are planning funeral rites and memorial services.

The navy commander, Viliame Naupoto, has called on villagers not to gamble with their lives and to take heed of marine weather bulletins before putting to sea.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that the first missing boat and its two outboard engines were given to the owner by a failed politician as part of the government's 13 million US dollar agriculture ministry scam which its alleged was used to buy votes.