Goundar will buy new ship
By MAIKA BOLATIKI
The Goundar Shipping Limited will buy another ship before the end of this year.
This was confirmed yesterday by the company’s managing director and owner, George Goundar.
“I’ll soon be leaving for Canada to buy a new ship for the company and it should be in service before the end of the year,” Mr Goundar said.
When asked about the name he said, “In the meantime, the name will be a secret, but I can tell you that it’s being named after an island in the Lomaiviti Group.”
The new ship, he said, would be much bigger than the MV Lomaiviti Princess. The company’s ship, the MV Lomaiviti Princess, is servicing the Koro, Savusavu and Taveuni route and Kadavu.
Currently, the MV Lomaiviti Princess makes two trips from Suva to Taveuni every week where and she stops over in Koro and Savusavu on the way.
Mr Goundar said the reason for bringing in another new ship was to improve their service to the people of Fiji.
“With the arrival of the new ship, we will be doing a daily service to Taveuni.”
He said the company were aware of the tough competition in the shipping industry, especially where there are a good number of ships providing services. Mr Goundar said they were competing with Consort Shipping Line Ltd in the Koro, Savusavu and Taveuni and also with the Bligh Water Shipping Limited in the Savusavu route.
He said his company only wanted a fair competition by all shipping companies.
Meanwhile, as part of its concern for the safety of its passengers, the company has started onboard water safety awareness briefings.
In this awareness programmes, he said the crew provided safety briefings to all passengers about safety equipment and emergency procedures.
Mr Goundar said it was their duty to educate passengers on what to do when accidents happen.
“They (passengers) are to be prepared.”
The crew, he said, carried out demonstrations of how to put on a life jacket and where to find them.
“We found out during the awareness programme that about 90 per cent of our passengers did not know how to put on a life jacket.
“The passengers are also taught how to use fire extinguishers,” he said.
Mr Goundar said this awareness programme was very effective and the passengers supported it.
He said the company’s priority was the safety of the passengers while travelling on their ship.