Search and rescue underway north of Port Moresby

Thursday 20 June 2013
Media Release

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is coordinating a search and rescue north of Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea following a distress broadcast early this morning.

AMSA received a shipping distress call and an emergency beacon activation at 3.30 am on Thursday morning. The location of the alerts was 80nm north of Port Moresby.

A plane was diverted to the area and at 9 am reported sighting an upturned barge and three life rafts in the water, one with people in it.

AMSA’s Dornier and a winch-capable helicopter are due to arrive in the area shortly. Two tugs are currently en route to the scene and will arrive later this morning.

It is not known how many people were on board the barge, or the cause of the incident.

AMSA is working with Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Port Moresby to gather more information.

Further updates will be provided when more information is available.