SUNBIZ

Removal Order Issued

The Fiji Ports Authority (FPA) has issued a removal order to the owner of the fishing vessel that sank in Suva harbor last Friday. A fishing vessel was partially sunk
24 Aug 2016 08:15
Removal  Order Issued
Rising No 26 sinking in Suva Harbour. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau

The Fiji Ports Authority (FPA) has issued a removal order to the owner of the fishing vessel that sank in Suva harbor last Friday.

A fishing vessel was partially sunk in the anchorage at sea in front of civic center area in Suva last Friday morning after ingress of water.

Chief Executive Officer Fiji Port Authority Vajira Piyasena said a removal order was issued to the owner and the Fiji Port Cooperation Limited (FPCL) was working with owner to remove the vessel.

Mr Piyasena said FPCL had conducted another inspection of the above vessel recently with Pollution Officer from Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF).

 

The following were observed or done;

 Very tiny pockets of bubbles were observed to be coming out of certain parts of the vessel when reaching the waterline forming flimsy oil sheen; under water visibility around the vessel was quite good which reflects that the vessel may only contain minimum diesel oil or none at all. Vessel structure and outline can be seen from above water.

All agreed that FPCL do not require deploying oil booms for pollution control.

The vessel is still in the same position as mentioned before in my earlier e-mail.

No debris was coming out of the vessel

Additional mooring line was added to the steel wire.

According to Mr Piyasena, this fishing vessel belongs to an Asian company.

The removal order is for 21 days and the owner is well aware of this timeline.

In Volume 23 of Port News it said that FPCL is empowered to order the removal of derelict vessels from its harbour boundaries under Part 8, Section 27, Subsection (1) of the Seaport Management Act (2005), but such an order is to be “delivered to the owner or master of the vessel, if their identity and whereabouts are known.

[Subsection (2) c]. “Locating vessel owners so they are fully aware of what is taking place can be very time consuming. Often they are based overseas and we have great difficulty in locating them, not to mention the difficulties we sometimes face with language barriers,” said Mr Ajit Narayan, FPCL Risk & Compliance Analyst. Even when vessel owners are locally based and known to FPCL, there can be delays in removing a derelict. A recent example of such a case being successfully pursued by FPCL involved the local vessel, the Lau Trader.

By exercising its powers under the Seaport Management Act, FPCL issued a removal order to the owners, to be actioned within a month. The mortgaging bank requested, through proper channels, the opportunity to find a buyer for the vessel, but when this proved unsuccessful, FPCL put it up for tender.

A successful bid for the Lau Trader has been made and the new owner has been given three months to remove

the vessel from the port’s boundaries.

“Removing a derelict vessel and cost between $50k and $500k . It is not budgeted for as it is not part of FPCL’s core business, but we do have legal procedures we can enforce,” said Mr Narayan.

A derelict vessel is one that is abandoned in a harbour or port for 21 days and has insufficient manpower on

board to operate. FPCL follows set procedures to strictly enforce the powers invested in the corporation by the Act.

FeedBack: lusiana.tuimaisala@fijisun.com.fj



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