RFMF convenes independent investigation on RFNS Puamau

June 18, 2024 6:37 am

[Source: Supplied]

The Republic of Fiji Military Forces has decided to convene an independent Board of Inquiry for the grounding of RFNS Puamau.

RFNS Puamau hit a reef and ran aground in a passage close to the far-flung island of Fulaga in Lau.

The incident occurred last Tuesday, only a month after the multi-million-dollar state-of-the-art ship was commissioned.

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RFMF Commander, Major General Ro Jone Kalouniwai, says the decision for an independent BOI stems from the monetary value of the vessel, valued at around $20 million.

[Source: Supplied]

Kalouniwai says it is imperative for them to demonstrate their commitment to transparency and accountability by thoroughly examining the mishap.

He says they acknowledge the investigation by the Fiji Navy but believe that an independent BOI will enhance the thoroughness of the inquiry, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the incident.

Kalouniwai says the objective is to prevent similar incidents in the future, upholding the highest standards of operations within the Fiji Navy.

The RFMF also acknowledges the support of all stakeholders as they embark on an independent investigation.

As efforts to salvage RFNS Puamau are underway, the stranded vessel continues to take in water.

RFNS Puamau is a guardian-class patrol boat donated to Fiji by Australia as part of the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project.