Papua New Guinea police are investigating a shipmate who allegedly caused a vessel to run aground on a reef off New Britain.
The Post Courier reports the cargo and passenger vessel Kimbe Queen hit a reef not far from Lassul Bay on the north coast of the island's East New Britain Province, on Wednesday.
The 49 passengers were rescued by a passing fishing trawler 10 hours after the accident.
Only minor injuries were sustained by some of the passengers, including children.
Police told the Post Courier the vessel had left Rabaul and was headed for Kimbe port when halfway through the trip, the shipmate took over the navigation.
They say an investigation is underway.