The hospital ship USNS Mercy arrives in Peal Harbor after a voyage from San Diego. Navy photo
The hospital ship USNS Mercy arrives in Peal Harbor after a voyage from San Diego. Navy photo

A half-dozen people who swam ashore when their boat was lost at sea off Papua New Guinea are being treated Tuesday aboard the San Diego-based hospital ship USNS Mercy.

The Mercy, which is deployed on the annual Pacific Partnership Mission, dispatched helicopters to Han Island, a small land mass near Carteret Island, to pick up the survivors of Saturday’s boating mishap. The Navy said the survivors include a mother and her 18-month-old child.

“All patients are currently in good condition,” said Capt. Melanie Merrick, the Mercy’s commanding officer.

Helicopter crewmen aboard the Mercy were unable to find other survivors, but Papua New Guinea authorities are continuing a search mission, according to the Navy.

The Mercy left San Diego for Pacific Partnership last month. The four- month mission will also include stops Fiji, Kiribati, Micronesia, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands and Vietnam, the Navy said.

Pacific Partnership was started in 2006, two years after the devastating tsunami that swamped the coastline of several Indian Ocean nations. Part of the mission is to help countries with disaster preparedness.

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