Madang Provincial Police Commander, Acting Superintendent Mazuc Rubiang said the deceased was identified as Pagis Labi of Yamis Village in Rai Coast. He was with eight other passengers travelling to Rai Coast on a boat when they were held up at Tabali Point.
PPC Rubiang said the boat skipper was rescued at Basamuk after swimming ashore. Police were alerted and the man was assisted to seek medical treatment at the Modilon General Hospital.
Meantime, police say the six who are still missing include a mother and her six-month-old baby. PPC Rubiang said a search party is on the lookout for them between Madang and Saidor.
“The lone survivor when fully recovered will help give identity of the pirates so we can continue our investigation. Currently we are organizing ourselves to search for the missing people with help of the villagers and relatives of the missing people.
“I am very sorry for what had happened because the people of Rai Coast had been victims of piracy for a long period of time. I want the people of Madang to help the police with information of the pirates so police can arrest and charge them to stop this criminal act.”
He said piracy has led to people missing and a life has been lost. PPC Rubiang said the Water Police division in Madang needs support from the provincial leaders.
He said police response to track the pirates last week Thursday was late because they were down with fuel and bad weather caused the delay with rescue efforts.
“Police went out to sea but could not go further because they were running out of fuel and it was also raining heavily,” Rubiang said.