Missing Cikobia islanders found safe; survived on vegetables and a bottle of water

Pictures of the villagers of Cikobia Island - who were reported missing at sea on Thursday, September 29, 2022 - arriving safely in Labasa on October 2, 2022. Picture: FIJI POLICE

The three men and a four-year-old child from the island of Cikobia in Macuata who were reported missing on Thursday earlier this week survived on vegetables and a bottle of water during their three-day ordeal.

The four reached Labasa safely this morning.

They were found by an aerial team drifting 300km away from Kia Island, a long way from their planned destination at Qaranivai.

Authorities have established from the group that their engine developed problems because of a blockage in fuel supply.

That nightmare ended when they were sighted by the aerial team that stayed guard over them, and dropped them food supplies and emergency kits while they waited for the rescue team.

Fiji’s Commissioner of Police Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho acknowledged the joint efforts coordinated by the Rescue Coordination Center Fiji, Fiji Navy, New Zealand Air Force, Northern Air Fiji, and Fiji Police.

He also acknowledged the Director of Cruise Holdings Sal Douglas, the owner of the MV Bandicoot involved in the rescue of the four.

Brig-Gen Qiliho said the four had been taken for medical treatment at the Labasa Hospital while their fiberglass boat had been towed to the Northern Division WATERPOL base.

The three men and the child had left Cikobia at around 8am on Thursday, October 29 (2022) for Qaranivai landing.

They travelled on board a 40hp white fiberglass boat called ‘Ana Toka’.

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