SYDNEY, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Solomon Islands authorities are investigating the alleged negligence of the captain of a vessel which set sail despite cyclone warnings on Thursday night, leading to about 28 people missing after they fell overboard, local media reported on Saturday.
The victims fell off MV Taimareho "when it encountered rough seas brought about by Tropical Cyclone Harold between Guadalcanal and Malaita," The Island Sun newspaper reported.
The ship managed to reach the Su'u area in West Kwaio but search and rescue operations have not found any person.
The maritime authority said warnings were issued for all ships not to travel outside capital Honiara because of rough seas.
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare expressed his deepest sympathy following the incident.
"It is with deep regret to learn that a number of passengers are missing at sea after being washed overboard from a passenger vessel... despite several warnings issued," Sogavare said.
"Search and Rescue agencies have been mobilized to respond while police are investigating the incident," he said.