NEWS

Lucky To Be Alive, As Suilven Goes Down

  Two truck drivers say they are lucky to be alive after they were rescued from the MV Suilven as it sank while coming into Suva Harbour yesterday. Abdul Salim,
25 Nov 2015 10:30
Lucky To Be Alive, As Suilven Goes Down

 

Two truck drivers say they are lucky to be alive after they were rescued from the MV Suilven as it sank while coming into Suva Harbour yesterday.

Abdul Salim, 44, and Sunil Nair, 44, drive two Venu Shipping trucks that went down with the 1980-tonne roll-on, roll-off ferry.

Mr Nair said after the rescue: “I was sleeping when the other drivers ran into my cabin and woke me up because something was wrong.

“I was shocked, scared and everything else was running through my head. I grabbed a life jacket and listened to the instructions given by the crew.”

He said they were told to keep calm before they were told to get into a smaller boat that had come for their rescue.

“Ten minutes after we got into the rescue boat, the ship sank completely.

“I was only used to rough seas, but nothing like what happened today. I don’t know what to say right now, I’m just so lucky to be able to live again and see my family again.”

He has two children who are both with their mother at their home, Wailevu in Labasa.

Mr Salim was still shocked.

“I was just thinking about my family and my children when the incident happened out at sea. We are lucky to be saved and we were also very lucky that it happened at a place where rescue was quick,” he said.

Fuga Luse, 26, a cook on the ship, said she was also lucky to be alive.

This was a huge lesson for her, she said.

MV Liahona crew Sireli Qasenivalu was  among the first to reach the sinking  ship.

He said a team from MV Liahona went  in an outboard  to offer help to people on the sinking ship.

“We were the first rescuers to reach the ship,” he said.

He said when they reached the ship they saw the containers and lorries had shifted to one side as the boat started to tilt.

Mr Qasenivalu said the skipper and the crew had come out and were standing on the side of the ship.

”We could not go nearer as it was dangerous.”

A Navy boat was also at the scene.

Police at the Port-Mua-I-Walu yesterday confirmed that 31 people were on board the Suilven, 27 of whom were crew members and four truck drivers. There were no casualties reported.

It is understood that the ship was on its way back from Levuka when the incident happened. The ship reportedly had 27 containers and four trucks on board.

The MV Suilven is owned by Ben Naidu of Venu Shipping.

Mr Naidu yesterday confirmed that the ship which used to carry passengers was now a cargo boat.

MV Suilven was built in 1974. It operated as a ferry in Scotland for 21 years, before operating between New Zealand’s North and South Islands.

It was then brought to Fiji by Bligh Water Shipping in 2004. Mr Naidu’s Venu Shipping bought it in 2012.

Feedback:  aqela.susu@fijisun.com.fj




Subscribe to E-Edition
Fijisun E-edition
Rewa Fiji Dairy Ltd
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: