25 Aug 2011

PNG search continues for five scientists and three crew after nearly 4 weeks

8:01 pm on 25 August 2011

Searches are continuing for five Papua New Guinea scientists and three crew who went missing at sea nearly four weeks ago.

The scientists, from the PNG Institute of Medical Research were last seen on August the 1st and police won't rule out that they may've been abducted by pirates.

The acting West New Britain police commander, Anthon Billie, says the scientists, who were investigating malaria, had been heading to Bali Island, just off New Britain Island.

He says it's about a two hour trip by banana boat but there's been no sign of the scientists or any wreckage, so there's a possibility they could have been abducted by pirates, who're known to operate in the area.

Commander Billie says they could also still be adrift in the vast area of sea around Morobe, Madang, Manus and West New Britain.