SHIPPING

COVID-19 Causes Togoloa To Be At Sea For Five Months

“Out at sea in the Asian waters during the pandemic was a trying time, my son kept me going; he was always on my mind.
17 Jun 2020 12:50
COVID-19 Causes Togoloa To Be At Sea For Five Months
From left: Luciana Taivuna Koroiqaraiwalu (wife), Bethel Daniel Faalogo Togolo (son) and New Guinea Chief marine engineer cadet Peceli Sovaki Togoloa in Suva on June 16, 2020. Photo: Wati Talebula

COVID-19 pandemic caused New Guinea Chief marine engineer cadet Peceli Sovaki Togoloa to be out at sea for five months.

Father of one Mr Togoloa, 24, was yesterday given the clearance from the Ministry of Health for Coronavirus at the Lautoka port to be with his family.

He is one of the six Fijians that works on Swire Shipping owned container carrying vessel.

“I am leaving today (yesterday) to go to my family in Suva and I am excited to see them after five months at sea,” Mr Togoloa said.

“The last time I went on shore was in January. When the COVID-19 pandemic started, we were at Santos in Vanuatu; from there we went to Asian countries.

“We remained on board while at those Asian countries, the only one time I set foot on land was in Taiwan.

“New Guinea Chief is under Swire Shipping and I have worked under two ships of theirs the last 13 months,” he said.

At the Asian ports, containers were offloaded with the assistance of forklifts, cranes and other heavy machines. Personnel all stayed on board.

“Out at sea in the Asian waters during the pandemic was a trying time, my son kept me going; he was always on my mind.

“I was out at sea when my son was born, I only saw him when he was three months old. He has already turned one now.

“On board we observed all Coronavirus restrictions and health measures at all times.”

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His first international ship was Carpenters Sirius which he worked on for six months. He has been with New Guinea Chief for seven months.

He hails from Naivilaca Village in Noco, Rewa and has maternal link to Savai`i in Samoa.

The former DAV College student started his career with local vessels serving Fiji’s main islands.

“I started sailing locally in 2015 and my first ship was on Sinu I Wasa 3 where I spent two months.

“Two years I was with Goundar shipping on Lomaiviti Princess 3 as an engineer cadet and Engine Room Watch Rating (EWR).

“And then one and a half years with Interlink Shipping Limited as a EWR.”

A EWR mans the engine room on a ship of any propulsion power in any operating area.

“Whenever I’m on leave, I always operate my small repair business on Facebook as Togoloa Repair.”

Feedback:  wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj



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