Eleven people were successfully rescued after activating their GME EPIRB approximately 90 nautical miles to the northwest of Port Moresby, the Pacific island’s capital during the early hours of June 20st. PNG flagged vessel, the MV Mundi Navigator was servicing the Port Moresby-Purari River route when it capsized in rough seas. The EPIRB’s emergency signal was received by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority at 0330 hours; subsequently an aircraft was diverted to the area and at 0900 reported the sighting of an upturned barge and three life raftsin the water, one with people aboard.
The PNG based tug “Go Rigel” was directed to the scene, recovering all eleven survivors and transferring them safely to Port Moresby later that day.
Long time PNG resident, mariner and marine equipment supplier, Ernie Lohberger commented: “Lohberger Engineering supplied the GME MT403 to this vessel just last month, the occupants of the MV Mundi Navigator were extremely fortunate to be rescued in such a short period of time. They almost certainly owe their lives to the EPIRB and the foresight of the vessel’s owner in equipping their barge with this low cost, yet vital life saving device.
In my opinion the carriage of EPIRBs should be mandatory on all PNG registered vessels.” The rescue was jointly coordinated by PNG’s National Maritime Safety Authority and AMSA.
The PNG Search and Rescue region covers an area of over 650,000 square nautical miles. Search and rescue services are provided by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Port Moresby, which is part of the National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA). At this stage the cause of the MV Mundi Navigator incident is unknown..
GME’s award winning EPIRBs are designed and manufactured by Standard Communications Pty. Ltd. in Australia.