25 Aug 2015

Fishermen rescued in Bougainville after three weeks adrift in stormy seas

1:13 pm on 25 August 2015

Two fishermen from Solomon Islands have been rescued in autonomous Papua New Guinea region of Bougainville after spending three weeks adrift in stormy seas.

The provincial disaster co-ordinator, Franklin Lacey, says the men were fishing in Solomon Islands when they experienced engine troubles and ended up drifting north towards Bougainville.

He says the men drifted undetected past the Bougainville mainland before they were rescued by locals near Fead Islands on Saturday.

Mr Lacey says a medical assessment has shown that they are OK, and are now waiting for a supply ship to take them back to the mainland next week.

Satellite image of Fead Islands, (Nuguria).

Satellite image of Fead Islands, (Nuguria). Photo: NASA Johnson Space Center

He says the area has been incredibly stormy, and the men would have endured three weeks of atrocious conditions.

"Plenty of big winds. We haven't allowed our small boats to go out because of the Strong Wind Warning. The situation is very rough with some three to four metres, the level of the sea."

Franklin Lacey says when the men arrive on the mainland they will be interviewed before being repatriated to Solomon Islands.