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Derelict ships to be removed by either Ports or Owners: Bala

May 18, 2018 8:11 pm

Minister for Transport – Praveen Bala has clarified that in instances where ships run aground within a port, it becomes the responsibility of the respective port to ensure their removal.

On the issue of the removal of a passenger vessel that ran aground two years ago in Levuka as a result of Tropical Cyclone Winston, the Minister explained the responsibility fell on the owners of the ship.

“Madam Speaker as a result of TC Winston, Sinuwasa three is still stuck into the solid rocks and in this case the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji will oversee the removal of this wreck as the incident had occurred outside the declared port boundary. For the information of the House, Honourable Madam Speaker, MSAF had issued a removal notice to the ship owner.”

Bala adds that the owners had already held talks with MSAF to sort out the removal.

He says discussions were also held with nearby villagers given the inconvenience the stranded Sinuwasa had caused.

The Minister was responding to an oral question from Opposition MP Ro Kiniviliame Kiliraki on whether there had been any commitment to removing the sunken vessels at the Levuka Wharf and in front of the Ovalau Resort.

Meanwhile the other sunken vessel which is the Sinuwasa One is expected to be removed by the port authorities in Levuka.