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RFNS Lautoka Keeps Close Watch Over The RFNS Kiro

RFNS Lautoka Keeps Close Watch Over The RFNS Kiro
RFNS Kiro
August 24
08:04 2016

The RFNS Lautoka is anchored off Nukulau Island for the crews to keep a close watch over the grounded RFNS Kiro.

Colonel Litea Seruiratu the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) chief of staff yesterday said that navy divers were again checking the ground vessel yesterday.

“The divers are now based at Nukulau Island to watch over the Kiro,”she said.

From the latest report they had, she said there were some damages but not serious.

On the salvage of the vessel, she said the Industrial & Marine Engineering Limited (IMEL) had offered to help but nothing had been confirmed.

“We thank IMEL for offering their services as they are the experts on this in the country,” she said.

The RFNS Kiro had run aground at Cakauyawa Reef off Makuluva Island last month.

A Board of Inquiry had completed their work and handed their report to the Commander.

The Fiji Sun had already reported that the Muanaira Village elders in Vutia, Rewa, had given their blessings for the successful salvage of RFNS Kiro.

This after a delegation of Fijian naval officers presented yaqona in a traditional ceremony at the village community hall.

The village headman (turaganikoro) Mr Irame Tubuna confirmed of the ceremony and said about 10 seamen came to the village. Village elder Simeli Waibuta received their offering on behalf of the Vanua.

Mr Tubuna said the naval officers sought apology on the grounding and the possibility of an oil spill that could affect marine life and the villagers’ food source. He said they also sought blessings from the vanua to successfully salvage RFNS Kiro.

“We have accepted their request and given our blessing,” Mr Tubuna said.

He said the reef was part of the traditional fishing ground of the villagers that included Nukulau and Makuluva islands. The islands are now owned by the State.

Col Seruiratu said a decision on its salvage would be made soon and the company involved.

FeedBack: maikab@fijisun.com.fj

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