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Fishing vessel towed to sea after fire incident

June 16, 2018 5:12 am

An operational fishing vessel “Tui Puga” which caught fire at the Suva Harbour last night has been towed out into sea after firefighters could not contain the blaze.

The Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji says the incident happened between 8:45pm to 9pm.

MSAF Acting Chief Executive, Capt. Philip Hill says the vessel berthed at the wharf to discharge its catch and was reloading to return to the fishing ground.

“We have not ascertain the cause of the fire but the National Fire Authority attended to the fire and tried to contain the fire, they did manage to contain it for all the masters and the crew of the vessel to be removed. All ships surrounding the burning vessel was also moved away from the burning vessel. After continuous fighting of the fire by NFA– they realized that they cannot contain the fire so we brought in a tug to attach it to the fishing vessel and tow it away from the harbour so we just wait for the ship to just burn out.”

Captain Hill says they will decide whether to bring the vessel back to the wharf or look for a safe area to scuttle the vessel once it’s completely burnt.

He says they will also remove all contaminants that is still in the ship before sinking it in an area where it won’t cause damage to the marine environment or is a hazard to safety navigation.