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MSAF to investigate ferry mishap

April 20, 2019 6:51 am

The Maritime and Safety Authority has confirmed an investigation will be carried out to ascertain the cause of an inter-island ferry running into distress.

In the early hours of yesterday morning, South Island Shipping’s MV Liohana II encountered a rather horrific journey to Kadavu after she lost her roll-on roll-off ramp, allowing the vessel to take in water with passengers and cargo on-board.

Chief Executive Captain Philip Hill confirms on the return of the vessel to Suva, an investigation to ascertain how the incident occurred without the knowledge of the Captain will be carried out.

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Good Friday turned tragic for 120 passengers and 10 crew members on board the MV Liohana following the problems encountered by the vessel.

The Fiji Maritime Surveillance Rescue Coordination Centre says it received an emergency call and maintained contact with the captain monitoring the situation.

Following preliminary assessment, the Rescue Coordination Centre began tracking the position of the distressed vessel as she steamed towards Kadavu at slow speed.

As the incident escalated, Fiji Navy’s RFNS Kikau along with medical personnel and the Volunteer First Responder team were deployed before mid-day.

An aircraft belonging to Kokomo Island resort managed to capture images and relayed communications to the Rescue Coordination Centre.

The RFNS KIKAU then intercepted and escorted MV Liohana to Kadavu.

The Navy vessel returned to base and the Rescue Coordination Centre stood down its Search and Rescue operations.

FBC News can confirm the vessel resumed operations a week ago after she underwent repair work at the Fiji Ships repair berth.

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