SHIPPING

Four Idle Ships Cause $1M Loss

Company managing director, George Goundar, confirmed yesterday that the Lomaiviti Princess II, IV, V and VI vessels have been anchored in the Suva Harbour.
04 Nov 2020 10:08
Four Idle Ships Cause $1M Loss
Goundar Shipping Limited vessels Lomaiviti Princess 5 (left) and Lomaiviti Princess 2 (right) anchored at the Suva Harbour on November 3, 2020. Photo: Wati Talebula

Four of 10 Goundar Shipping Limited’s (GSL) roll on roll off inter-island vessels have not been operating the past five months, because there are no crew members to operate them.

Company managing director, George Goundar, confirmed yesterday that the Lomaiviti Princess 2, 4, 5 and 6 vessels have been anchored in the Suva Harbour since July this year.

“We have lost over $1m from this, and we can’t get the Filipinos over because of the pandemic,” Mr Goundar said.

“We just have to wait for COVID-19 restrictions to be lifted, so that we can get our overseas crew. We don’t have any crew at the moment to man the four vessels.”

Six of his vessels are still operating.

Crew behaviour

Meanwhile, Mr Goundar confirmed that he had fired 10 of his crew yesterday, after they were found drinking during the weekend.

“The crew members were caught drinking behind the Police Post at Port Mua-i-Walu,” he said.

“The Police went to arrest them; but none of them was charged.

“Why are the Police entertaining the seafarers to drink behind the Police Post? There must be some connection.”

He said crew members have been drinking there every weekend.

“This needs to be stopped before someone dies.”

Mr Goundar claims that his crew took liquor with them to drink, while they go out to the outer islands.

“This is one of the problems we are facing now.

“Crew members drink while on duty, and that contributes to the decrease in the number of local crew members now working on inter-island vessels.

Recruitment

When asked about the Lautoka-based Alpha Pacific Navigation Limited (APNL) recruiting local seafarers to join overseas commercial ships, Mr Goundar responded saying: “Everybody want to go on foreign vessels and who is going to build up the local industry?”

He said 80 crew members from the Philippines are on the list to come to Fiji and work on his 10 vessels.

“We are just waiting for COVID-19 restrictions to be lifted so that they can come and for business to roll,” Mr Goundar said.

Feedback: lusiana.tuimaisala@fijisun.com.fj



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