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Authority Says Spirit Of Love Captain Made Right Decision

“The ship master made the right decision in departing from Oinafa when he parted his ropes for the sake of the safety of his ship, pas­sengers and crew,” Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) manager Qualification and Licensing Captain Tomasi Kete said.
08 Jan 2020 17:22
Authority Says Spirit Of Love Captain Made Right Decision
Spirit of Love

Decision to leave the pas­sengers behind should have been discussed by the ship owner and the charterer taking into account the safety of the ves­sel.

Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) manager Qualification and Licensing Captain Tomasi Kete made the statement yesterday after inter-island vessel Spirit of Love left behind more than 150 stranded passengers at the Oinafa Wharf in Rotuma last Saturday.

Fiji Sun yesterday ran a story where than 100 passengers made up of 70 per cent visitors from Australia, United States of America and New Zealand had chartered Spirit of Love owned by Patterson Brothers Shipping Company Limited for the Rotuma trip last month.

Captain Kete said the issue on the Spirit of Love involved the safety of the vessel, passenger and crew.

“Spirit of Love experienced mod­erate to heavy swells on the day of operations in Oinafa,” Captain Kete said.

“The ship master made the right decision in departing from Oinafa when he parted his ropes for the sake of the safety of his ship, pas­sengers and crew,” he said.

Roll on and roll of vessel Spirit of Love was unable to berth at the Rotuma wharf the day it arrived for pick up due to heavy swells.

“The ship was inspected on arrival in Ellington Jetty by our MSAF sur­veyors since she also sustained mi­nor structural damages in Oinafa.

“The surveyor has also verified the new ropes installed on board today (Tuesday).”

Patterson Brothers Shipping Company Ltd general manager David Patterson said they support­ed their captain’s decision.

“On the second day, the vessel berthed at risk during the heavy swells and managed to take all the passengers that were at the wharf,” Mr Patterson said.

“The other passengers were late and were not at the jetty; our vessel had to pull out due to the bad weath­er conditions,” he said.

“The captain advised us and we supported his decision rather than risking the lives of passengers and crew.”

Feedback: wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj

 

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