Call for hand-held radios to be mandatory on small boats in PNG

Radio NZ

The owner of a boat which rescued eight people in Papua New Guinea's Bougainville region says having a hand-held radio on a boat can help save lives.

The 42-ft yacht, Magalut managed to save the lives of eight people on Sunday as their banana boat sank in heavy seas 25 nautical miles east off Nissan Island.

Magalut's owner Andrew Kilvert said the rescue, in difficult sea conditions off the Bougainville atolls, highlighted the need for better maritime safety measures.

Mr Kilvert said that small craft in particular should require radios.

“You check out, you pick up your hand-held radio. With my own money I've set up a system of VHF radio through our Nissan islands, which gives us a coverage of about 500-square nautical miles. So all we need is a hand-held VHF radio which means that when boats get into trouble they're actually able to contact it,” said Andrew Kilvert.

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