NATION

Ferry Battle: Captains Suspended, MSAF Investigates

This follows the near collision of their vessels MV Ohana and Lomaiviti Princess VIII near the Nabouwalu Jetty in Bua around 12pm on Friday.
03 May 2020 11:01
Ferry Battle: Captains Suspended, MSAF Investigates
Goundar Shipping Ltd director, George Goundar, at Walu Bay, Suva, on May 2, 2020, shows the suspension letter he received from the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji suspending Joe Salavau, the captain for the Lomaiviti Princess VIII(left) and the letter from the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji, suspending the captain of the MV Ohana (right).

The masters for MV Ohana and Lomaiviti Princess VIII were each handed a suspension letter by the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) yesterday.

This was confirmed to The Fiji Sun by the Interlink Shipping Line Ltd, director Ashish Kumar, and Goundar Shipping Ltd director, George Goundar.

Suspended are Captain Isireli Lalakobau of Interlink Shipping Line Ltd and Captain Joe Salavau of Goundar Shipping Limited.

The letter outlines the 14-day suspension of their Master Class 3 Endorsed Certificate of Competency.

This follows the near collision of the MV Ohana and Lomaiviti Princess VIII near Nabouwalu Jetty in Bua around 12pm on Friday.

The issue came to light when a video, which has gone viral on social media, first showed the MV Ohana and Lomaiviti Princess VIII approaching Nabouwalu in Vanua Levu after travellimg from Natovi in Viti Levu.

Photos published in yesterday’s Fiji Sun highlighted how close the two roll-on roll-off ferries came to each other.

A copy

Goundar Shipping, InterLink and Patterson Brothers all operate their passenger and cargo ferries on the busy Natovi-Nabouwalu route. There have been previous disputes over rights to dock first at the jetties.

Upon confirming receiving the suspension letter, yesterday morning, Mr Kumar said they hoped a thorough investigation would be conducted by MSAF and the review of the suspension letter.

He said tomorrow the company would have a full briefing with their captain.

“The company is now ready to support our captain during his 14 days suspension.”

Mr Kumar also claimed that Goundar Shipping was not following the timetable approved by MSAF.

Mr Goundar said MV Ohana was not following an approved timetable.

MSAF chair David Kolitagane said they would not comment until the investigation was completed.

MSAF suspension letter

MSAF suspension letter said: “In consultation with the Minister and accordance with section with 27 of the Maritime Transport Act 2013, notice is hereby given to suspend your Master Class 3 Endorsed Certificate of Competency (CoC) for 14 days effective immediately.

“This notice to suspend is a result of the collision on May 1, 2020, between MV Ohana and MV Lomaiviti Princess VIII.

“As the masters, the privileges or duties for which your CoC was carried out in a careless and incompetent manner.

“Investigation will be undertaken within this 14 days, however MSAF has the right to extend your period of suspension subject to the completion of full investigation.

“You must immediately surrender your Coc to the office of the chief executive officer at the time of receipt of this letter.”

letter 2

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj



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