SHIPPING

Lack Of Crew Cripples Movements For Goundar Shipping

“I can’t get qualified seafarers offshore from the Philippines because of this COVID-19,” he said.
23 Sep 2020 12:59
Lack Of Crew Cripples Movements For Goundar Shipping
Joseph P is one of Goundar Shipping vessels now anchored at Suva harbour

Goundar Shipping Limited managing director George Goundar said yesterday business was down by 40 per cent with the shortage of certified seafarers.

“The Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) is the main issue now as they want all local seafarers to be documented,” Mr Goundar said.

“I can’t get qualified seafarers offshore from the Philippines because of this COVID-19,” he said.

“It is just difficult and frustrating; right now that I am 80 staff short to operate all my vessels.

“The ones I have now are rotated to meet the services and demand and it is difficult.

“The ones who are willing to work but have no documentation can’t afford tuition at the Maritime Academy.

“There is something wrong somewhere.”

Mr Goundar confirmed that due to staff shortage four of his vessels, Joseph P, Lomaiviti Princesses 2, 3 and 5 are now anchored at the Suva Harbour.

He brushed aside the possibility of having some of his vessels put up as scrap metal.

Mr Goundar has nine inter-island roll on, roll off shipping vessels.

GSL is now serving the Lau Group and also daily trips to Nabouwalu from Ellington wharf in Rakiraki, and Natovi respectively.

Yesterday he said that there was a possibility that another of his vessels would be anchored soon to bring the number of his vessels not in service to five.

This leaves only four of his vessels in operation.

Edited: Karalaini Waqanidrola

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