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Tuvalu Deputy Commissioner Not Aware Of Burning Vessel

Tuvalu Deputy Commissioner Not Aware Of Burning Vessel
Deputy High Commissioner of Tuvalu to Fiji Emma Penitala Lauti (seated on the right) with participants of the “High School Students Islands Summit on World Tsunami Awareness Day 2017 in Okinawa, Japan. Photo: Embassy of Japan
June 20
10:00 2018


Deputy High Commissioner of  Tuvalu to Fiji, Emma Penitala Lauti, has no knowledge of the Tuvaluan fishing vessel Tuipuga that caught fire over the weekend in the Suva harbour.

“I am not aware of the issue. Should I have some information I will contact you,” Ms Lauti said when contacted at her office yesterday.

The long line fishing vessel Tuipuga is owned by Friendly Tuna Fishing Corporation in Tuvalu.

It had arrived in Suva on June 12; and caught fire four days later.

Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji had to tow the burning fishing vessel out to sea and let it burn completely in an isolated area.

Acting chief executive officer, Captain Philip Hill said this was to ensure that port facilities were safe in case of an explosion.

“After National Fire Authority could not contain the fire, we brought in a tug, attached it to the burning vessel and towed it away out of the harbour,” Captain Hill said.

While the cause of the fire is yet to be confirmed, MSAF has removed remaining fuel contaminants on board before they would scuttle the vessel.

The vessel had berthed at port Mua-i-walu to discharge its catch and was reloading to return to the fishing ground when the incident happened.

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