NEWS

MV Ohana Jumper: ‘Lucky To Be Alive’

The jumper has been identified as a resident of Tuatua in Labasa. The reason why he jumped off the ship is not known, however it has been alleged that the individual suffers from mental illness.
22 May 2020 10:40
MV Ohana Jumper: ‘Lucky To Be Alive’
Two crew members of the Interlink Shipping ferry MV Ohana attempt to rescue the man after he jumped off the vessel. Photo: Jitendra Reddy

A man who jumped off the roll-on roll-off vessel MV Ohana yesterday is lucky to be alive, says Interlink Shipping director Ashish Kumar.

Mr Kumar said things could have been far worse if the man had jumped off closer to the ship.

“The ship had started moving at some speed and thankfully he was not sucked under the boat otherwise he would have been shredded by the propellers,” he said.

“This is the second time we have had to deal with a jumper. The last time it was a prisoner.”

The vessel, bound for Natovi, had to make a U-turn to rescue the jumper, 15 minutes after departing Nabouwalu.

The jumper has been identified as a resident of Tuatua in Labasa. The reason why he jumped off the ship is not known, however it has been alleged that the individual suffers from mental illness.

The rescue team approaches the man. The rescue team returns to the ship safely with Mr Vuataki.

The rescue team approaches the man. The rescue team returns to the ship safely with Mr Vuataki.

Ship captain Siga Tuiwai said he was notified around 11.15am yesterday by a crew member that a passenger had jumped off the ferry.

“This is quite dangerous because the ship had gathered speed and we were cruising at 16.5 knots. So by the time I was notified, we had sailed past the jumper on the port side of the ship,” Mr Tuiwai said.

A dinghy was put in the water together with two crew members. He said the rescue was made possible and the crew returned to the ship at 11.25am, together with the man. The ship returned to Nabouwalu and the man was handed over to authorities there.

The rescue team approaches the man. The rescue team returns to the ship safely with Mr Vuataki.

The rescue team approaches the man. The rescue team returns to the ship safely with Mr Vuataki.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said the man was taken to Nabouwalu Hospital. It is believed he will remain there until Monday.

A passenger on MV Ohana, Suva lawyer Jitendra Reddy, said the rescue effort by the crew was commendable.

Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji said it was aware of the incident as the matter was reported to MSAF officials in Nabouwalu.

Company director Mr Kumar said quick action by the crew in the successful rescue was a reflection of the safety standards held by the company.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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