MSAF awaits police investigation

January 9, 2024 7:30 am

[File Photo]

The Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji has announced separate investigations into three distinct water mishaps that have tragically resulted in families losing their loved ones.

MSAF Chief Executive Joeli Cawaki asserts that many of these incidents likely involve operators who are not qualified to helm vessels and highlight a concerning lack of safety equipment onboard.

Cawaki says that MSAF is currently awaiting the investigation reports from the Fiji Police Force before implementing any non-compliance measures.

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“The police are leading the investigation, and we will come in through the investigation to determine the vessel’s registration, the survey of the vessel’s safety equipment, and likewise the boat master’s proper qualifications”

He notes that many incidents involve either unregistered and unsurveyed vessels or boat masters who are not registered.

“Does the vessel have safety equipment like lifejackets, flares, anchors, and other life-saving equipment that should be on the boat while carrying people?”

Since the 16th of last month, seven individuals have tragically drowned in separate incidents. Meanwhile, search efforts persist for a 12-year-old who remains missing in the waters off Tuvuca in Lau.