Eight years after the Sinu-i-Wasa 3 ran aground on the beach in front of Ovalau Resort, there has been no progress or action taken so far in removing it.
FBC News understands that dismantling work was expected to begin at the end of last year, but no progress has been seen to date.
Venu Shipping and vessel owner Ben Naidu did confirm to FBC News that they will dismantle the vessel in parts and take it to a recycling plant in Ba, but now they are waiting for a derelict vessel committee to be formed by the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji.
“Once the committee is formed, then they are going to tell us, and then we are going to start. Once they tell us, then we are going to start. We are just waiting for them.”
However, Dayal Steel Company Limited managing director Jay Dayal, the company that has expressed interest in removing the derelict vessels, says that they are currently trying to work out the logistics to carry out the removal process.
“We trying to work out the logistics part. See, the main problem right now is when you go out of Viti Levu, which is the logistics part. How are you going to bring the vessel to Viti Levu, and how are you going to cut it while it is still in the water? There are a lot of technical things involved, but it’s durable, and we can do it in an environmentally friendly manner without causing damage to the environment.”
Residents of Levuka and nearby villages have been raising concerns to FBC News about the derelict vessels since the boat is now infested with rats and remains an environmental impact and risk because of the rusting and falling parts of the ship.
The vessel remains in the same location, a few meters away from the main road, since TC Winston on January 22, 2016, and over the years, the company has not bothered to at least clean it up since it sits right in front of a tourist hotspot.