Minister Tkatchenko acknowledges China Rescue Assistance

Tuesday 27 February 2024

Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Justin Tkatchenko has acknowledged and thanked the people and Government of the Republic of China, for the rescue of six(6) Papua New Guinean fishermen who had been adrift for 37 days after their boat had lost power.

“I thank the Chinese Ambassador His Excellency Zheng Fanhua, his staff, and the crew for efficiently communicating, ensuring and placing high consideration on the safety, well-being, and rescue assistance by the Chinese shipping vessel crew, of PNG citizens,” Minister Tkatchenko said.

A formal diplomatic note conveyed by the Chinese Embassy to the Foreign Affairs Minister office confirmed on Monday 26  February, that LOMETO, a Marshall Islands flag fishing vessel operated by a Chinese company found the men in Solomon waters, on Sunday 25 February.

Minister Tkatchenko while also offering his thanks to the Chinese LOMETO crew, noted that closer PNG-China relations currently, had ensured efficient communications.

The Chinese fishing vessel rescued the fishermen, and provided necessary foods and accommodation.

They are currently safe onboard the LOMETO and in good condition.

The six(6) men are; Nason Koesana, Stanis Logan, Bensley Kaskas, Max Ben, Reynard Raoasok, and Liddy Kenehata, all from the Autonomous Region Of Bougainville

The Department of Foreign Affairs has delegated the appropriate section to assist in coordinating and contacting the relevant agencies to arrange for the return of the six fishermen to PNG.

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