By: L.N. Reklai
October 5, 2017 (Koror, Palau) Family of the casualty of the boating accident is in Palau to take back the remains of their family member that died as result of the boat accident on Tuesday, October 2, 2017. The brother and sister of the victim arrived yesterday in Palau seeking answers to their family member’s death. [restrict]
According to Vice President and Minister of Justice Raynold Oilouch, they are “very close to concluding this investigation”.
The boat carrying 23 passengers, tour guides and a driver collided unto the Rock Island on the morning of October 2nd on their way to a Rock Island tour.
The accident resulted in one death, six serious injuries and thirteen moderate injuries. As of yesterday, all have been released except for one patient with head injuries who is still being observed before being allowed to get on a plane.
One other patient with head injuries, a boy of about14 years of age, departed yesterday when his parents who were both doctors, signed a waiver to have him released.
Boat driver also sustained serious but not life threatening injuries.
On October 3rd at the Belau National Hospital, representatives of Palau’s government on visited the victims at the Belau National Hospital to convey their sympathies and support.
Vice President Raynold Oilouch, Senate President Hokkons Baules, Speaker of the House Sabino Anastacio, Minister of Finance Elbuchel Sadang, Chief of Staff Secilil Eldebechel, Hospital Director Dr. Ngirachisau Mekoll, PVA Chairman of the Board Ngirai Tmetuchl and other Delegates and Directors visited the victims, citizens of the People’s Republic of China who were in Palau as tourists with Blue Island International Tours company. Palau’s representatives conveyed their sympathies and condolences to family of the one fatality and expressed support of the Republic for their safe and speedy repatriation.
The victims were assured that Palau was “in direct communication with authorities on the status of all arrangements being made for their safe and immediate return home”.
They were also assured that proper authorities have begun investigation into the accident.
A letter notifying PRC’s government of the incident was sent to PRC’s Embassy in Pohnpei, FSM. Included in the diplomatic note was joint letter from Speaker of the House Sabino Anastacio and Senate President Hokkons Baules expressing their sympathies and support.
When asked why the government was having such reaction now to this tragedy as compared to previous incidents, Vice President responded that the magnitude of this accident gained the leadership attention.
The information states “The government is actively ensuring the continued safety and security of its tourism industry, and is confident that this incident will not discourage future visitors from enjoying Palau’s natural beauty. Palau will continue to encourage operators to follow the strict safety standards that are already in place, and will continue to review this incident to ensure any appropriate additional measures are taken.” [/restrict]