AUCKLAND, 03 JULY 2017 (PACIFIC GUARDIANS) — Papua New Guinean, James Junior Numbaru has been reported missing at sea, presumed dead according to Pacific Guardians sources.

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Numbaru was serving as a ‘Fisheries Observer’ for PNG’s National Fisheries Authority (NFA) on board the Chinese-flagged purse seiner vessel Feng Xiang No. 818.

The vessel was drifting in relatively calm Nauru waters when Numbaru was reported missing around 2am on Wednesday last week. The coordinates where the incident occurred: 00°22′S, 167°53′E.

Reports confirm the Feng Xiang 818 arrived in Nauru at 9am [Friday] and the Nauru police conducted an investigation.

Latest report from Pacific Guardians sources say the Nauru police investigation, which included reviewing Video footage, indicated there was no foul play involved. The Feng Xiang has been cleared to leave Nauru port and is believed to be heading to Papua New Guinea.

Sources also pointed out that the Chinese authorities have followed all the proper procedures for a flagged State, including the new ‘Observer measures’ passed by the 2016 Tuna Commission held in Nadi, Fiji.

Pacific Guardians will provide an update once official information is received. This sad occasion is a reminder of the other Pacific observers who lost their lives while in service:

1) Charlie Lasisi, PNG;

2) Wesley Talia, PNG;

3) Larry Gavin, PNG;

4) Usaia Masibalavu, Fiji;

5) Keith Davis, USA….PACNEWS [/restrict]