Ships berthing at Point Cruz. Photo credit: SPC.

Ships berthing at Point Cruz. Photo credit: SPC.

The Solomon Islands Maritime Safety Administration (SIMSA) is gravely disappointed in the increasing negligence on the part of shipowners and shipmasters in reporting life threatening situations at sea.

Officer in charge of SIMSA’s Operation Safe Boats, Derek Saru says over the festive season, a number of boats either ran aground or faced mechanical problems but ship owners and masters took forever to alert SIMSA.

Mr Saru said, it took responsible authorities three days to report MV Nuatabu’s fate when it ran aground on Suri Reef, East Choiseul.

He emphasised this is clearly negligence of duty on the part of both the shipmaster and boat owner.

“MV Nuatabu ran aground about midnight and again vessel officers have failed to report to us. It was after two or three days later that they called and reported that the vessel has run aground. All these are the responsibilities of vessel operators and shipowners to report back to us the authority. Any incident happened to your vessel must be reported to us because as much as possible we have to give you assistance or urgently require that there is assistance and to ensure that your vessel is safe.”

Mr Saru adds, it was fortunate that the vessel did not capsize during the grounding, otherwise, lives would be unnecessarily lost.

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