Monday, 23rd December 2019 – Nine lives were saved with a well-planned rescue effort after a boat developed engine problems and started drifting in Vanuatu waters last week.
Vanuatu Police and Ports and Harbour staff sought Digicel Vanuatu’s assistance to track the boat which had left Santo for Malekula but failed to reach its destination on time. One passenger who had a Digicel number used it to call the Police and the Ports and Harbour in Santo for help as they were not able to see the Island.
Digicel’s Network Operation Center Team in Suva managed to track the location of the mobile phone and alerted authorities who managed to find the boat and towed it to Santo.
There were 8 adults and 1 child on board.
Mrs. June, a rescued passenger said; “ Thank you to Digicel Vanuatu, Santo Police and Office of the Maritimes Regulator in Santo for making every possible way to bring us safely to Santo. We are happy to be safe and with our families to celebrate this Christmas.”
Police Inspector, Joseph Melip Makitum said; “I would like to acknowledge the Digicel Team and Management on behalf of the Office of the Maritime Regulator (OMR) for their immediate response and assistance in rescuing the 9 passengers. Also for the network coverage that allowed us to communicate with the passengers and for this rescue to be successful and not forgetting the Santo Police team.”
Digicel CEO, Deepak Khanna said; “From Digicel side we are thankful that the family is safe. I would also like acknowledge the Office of the Maritime Regulator and Police in Santo for reaching us on time to expedite and help the families. Digicel is proud to have a world class superior network in Vanuatu. Here is wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Blessed Happy New Year”.