SUNBIZ

Sunken Southern Phoenix Area Now A Restricted Zone

Area around where the sunken Southern Phoenix lies near Suva Port is now a restricted zone with small boats and vessels required to keep a wide berth. The Papua New
21 Nov 2018 10:00
Sunken Southern Phoenix Area Now A Restricted Zone
Barges and tugs carrying out Phase Two of the salvaging work on the sunken MV Southern Phoenix at the Suva harbour. Photo: Inoke Rabonu

Area around where the sunken Southern Phoenix lies near Suva Port is now a restricted zone with small boats and vessels required to keep a wide berth.

The Papua New Guinea based Pacific Towing Limited has closed in the vicinity as it carries out Phase Two of the salvaging works.

Cruz Holdings Limited, the owner of the sunken vessel has engaged its contractor for 11 weeks to carry out the work. Phase Two is expected to be completed at the end of January next year.

“Phase Two is the actual removal of the remaining cargo on board the 88 meter long and 4285 DWT vessel. Removal work is currently underway with barges and tugs located at the site,” Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji communications officer Mere Naleba said.

“Works on the removal of the MV Southern Phoenix that sunk on May 6 2017 is currently progressing in the Suva Harbour,” she said.

“MSAF remains committed to the protection of the marine environment and the successful completion of the project will set a benchmark for all ship owners regarding the removal of wrecked ships within the Fiji waters.

“The removal of the wreck would improve safety navigation of other vessels within the close proximity of the Kings and Princess wharves and remove any threat to the marine environment.”

According to the Fiji Ports Corporation Limited (FPCL) 2017 Annual Report, its acting chief operations officer, Captain Laisiasa Gonewai had received a call for assistance from the vessel when it started sinking at 1.20am on May 6, last year.

Phase 1 of the salvaging works commenced on May 7, 2017 and was successfully completed on June 1, 2017.   The first phase of salvaging works included the removal of oil, fuel and other hazardous substances on board the vessel.

The removal of the wreck involves collaboration between the MSAF, FPCL and vessel owner Cruz Holdings Limited.

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