NEWS

MSAF to Improve Survey, Safety Procedures

Captain Philip Hill said the MV Liahona II had just completed its annual slip on March 5 and completed its survey on Wednesday April 18, before it departed for Kadavu on Thursday.
21 Apr 2019 10:10
MSAF to Improve Survey, Safety Procedures
MV Liahona II Captain Akuila Cama (seated second from left), and his crew.

The Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji is looking to improve the survey standards and produce extra safety measures on key ship structures.

This was confirmed by acting chief executive officer Captain Philip Hill following the mishap of the MV Liahona II on the high seas enroute to Kadavu on Friday.

Captain Philip Hill said the MV Liahona II had just completed its annual slip on March 5 and completed its survey on Wednesday April 18, before it departed for Kadavu on Thursday.

He said they would conduct a thorough investigation on the incident.

MV Liahona II had lost its ramp as it headed to Vunisea. In doing so, the vessel started taking in water from the stern which raised the alarm for the 112 passengers and 10 crew onboard.

While South Island Traders managing director Ulaiyasi Baivatu, did not wish to divulge on investigations saying he awaited the outcome.

However, he joined the passengers who praised the MV Liahona II skipper, Akuila Cama, for a job well done in keeping the vessel afloat.

He said for more than 12 hours after the vessel lost its ramp: “Captain Cama made very exemplary decisions and he maintained the course which was why we ended up in Kavala.”

Mr Baivatu, who was onboard the vessel said everything happened so fast. He said that a big wave tapped the ramp and due to the vibrations, it removed the ramp mechanisms.

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He added that the ramp was hanging for a minute before the cables snapped and then dropped into the ocean.

It happened in between Beqa island and Kadavu and Kavala was a more safer place to shelter.

He acknowledged comments on social media, however, people were entitled to their opinions.

“But with us it was God that saved and protected us for those 12 long hours and we are grateful,” Mr Baivatu said speaking from his farm in Kavala, Kadavu.

“We do not know what’s ahead of us, but when things happen, we should always be prepared for it.

“It was an accident. Challenges comes in many ways, it’s how we handle it and how we go through it.”

About the vessel:

It arrived in Fiji in 2015. The vessel was bought from South Korea and sailed 20 days to reach Fiji. According to Mr Baivatu, the vessel was last fully modified in 2012 and it is about 20 years old.

Screenshot 2019-04-21 at 10.06.37 AM

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: selita.bolanavanua@fijisun.com.fj



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