8 Sep 2007

Authorities in PNG's Milne Bay province concerned raises concerns about pirates

10:01 am on 8 September 2007

Authorities in Papua New Guinea's Milne Bay province are concerned that pirates are roaming the waters of the coastal province attacking people and stealing their goods.

The National newspaper reports this follows an attack on a boat, whose skipper is still missing.

The captain is believed to have jumped overboard while the crew was hospitalised after pirates boarded their boat and robbed them near Fergusson Island in Milne Bay province on Tuesday night.

Milne Bay provincial disaster officer, Eric Balaria, says the crew sustained injuries from sharp objects and are receiving medical treatment.

Mr Balaria says the captain jumped overboard near Valeta point at about 11pm and a search party put out on Wednesday failed to locate him.

He says the boat was intercepted by pirates who were using a speed boat.

Mr Balaria says piracy is a problem in Milne Bay waters, but police do not have the resources and funds to combat it.