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Our Navy: We can learn from Kiribati disaster

Our Navy: We can learn from Kiribati disaster
February 02
11:00 2018

Based on initial information received by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Naval Division the missing Kiribati ferry MV Butiraoi was overloaded with goods and people.

This week news media reported that the MV Butiraoi went missing more than two weeks ago with 88 people on board.

The vessel had left port on January 18 on a routine journey of 250 kilometres from Nonouti Island to the Capital Tarawa, but the Fijian Navy only received the report of the disappearance on January 26.

The Fijian Navy immediately began providing coordination assistance to international rescuers searching for the missing ferry and those aboard.

Reports said survivors had been rescued on January 29.

Navy Commander Captain (Navy) Humphrey Tawake said although it was extremely sad to see the unnecessary loss of lives, Fiji too is a maritime nation.

“It’s quite an unfortunate incident, but it does not rule out Fiji given that we are a maritime nation,” Captain Tawake said.

“We are seeing inter-island vessels and cruise-liners on a much regular basis and if any maritime incident occurs it will be a great challenge for us – and I can tell you it’s not easy to organise a rescue operation.”

Navy Commander Captain Humphrey Tawake said although it was extremely sad to see the unnecessary loss of lives, Fiji too is a maritime nation.

The Fijian Navy continues to monitor the situation that occurred within Fiji’s search and rescue region.

Australia, New Zealand and the United States have provided air support in the search and rescue efforts.

Edited by Percy Kean

sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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