Nine people (including three children) travelling from Lautoka to Malakati Village in the Yasawas saw their vessel capsize around 11 am. One passenger sent a text message to a relative requesting rescue. The Turtle Island dock station responded to the call with assistance from the Fiji Navy, locating the boat and all nine passengers after over four hours of searching. Turtle Island Resort managing director Richard Evanson Jr says they’ve been involved in search and rescue since November 2019, and have saved a total of 25 people.
This most recent incident highlights the enduring need for strengthened safety protocols at sea, particularly for inter-island transit on vessels under 15m in length.