By REG RENAGI
It is with a heavy heart that I write this.
With each passing day, the authorities will gradually scale down their search tempo for survivors from the ill-fated passenger ship, Rabaul Queen that sank last Thursday morning until it is finally called off by either this weekend or early next week.
The total number of survivors remains at 246 and since then, only five bodies have been recovered in other coastal provinces far away from the original sunken location.
It's now five days after the worst marine disaster in our country,with hopes from families now fading fast for more survivors to be found alive this week.
The sunken coastal ship was certainly not suitable for the current rough weather conditions.
It may seem also that it was not in any way sea-worthy to ever sailed at all in the rough weather conditions at the time.
The government must now hold a national day of mourning and later, a collective memorial service for all those 120 or so passengers onboard the Rabaul Queen who perished last Thursday.
This must be done to mourn the lost passengers and remember them in their final moments when the stricken vessel sank.
I also remember asking some people in authority last year regarding the APNG plane crash victims to hold a national memorial service to mourn for the passengers who perished in October 2011, but sadly did not get any feedback at all.
This will be the same unless we all make a lot of noise so something gets done now about improving general maritime safety (likewise for air safety) in PNG.
I praise our Lord God for the survivors and pray for all the passengers who lost their lives last Thursday.
May they rest in eternal peace. God bless them all.