INTER-island shipping company Goundar Shipping Services will lodge a formal complaint with the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) and is also considering legal action against the regulatory authority.
This comes after the MV Lomaiviti Princess was delayed from sailing last Friday by MSAF officials for alleged failure to comply with regulations.
The vessel eventually set sail at midnight after it obtained relevant charts from another shipping company.
The move left some 700 Koro and Savusavu-bound passengers stranded at Narain Jetty in Suva for around four hours before the vessel was allowed to sail — with one passenger ending up in hospital.
Goundar Shipping Services director George Goundar said passenger safety was his main concern — a concern he said was compromised when MSAF officials did not allow the vessel to sail.
"The vessel was not allowed to sail because we were told by an MSAF surveyor that we did not have five charts they said we were required to have in order to do so," Mr Goundar said.
"And I only found out about this when I reached the wharf on Friday night at eight, and that's just crazy. Where are we supposed to get these five charts at that time when all the shops are closed?"
However, MSAF chief executive officer Neale Slack said the MSAF survey certificate clearly stated the need for the five charts to be on board before the ship would be given permission to sail.
"If he wants to file a complaint against us, that is his choice. We are accountable for any action that we take and we will address this matter," Mr Slack said.
Mr Goundar also said his vessel had four state-of-the-art navigating systems that meant it did not need the charts to sail.
He said the vessel had been sailing for one year without the same charts, and it had passed two such surveys in the past without the charts.
"They are inconveniencing and putting passengers at risk just because one surveyor did not use his common sense, 700 people were. It was lucky that it did not rain that night otherwise we would have had a real mess."
Mr Slack said MSAF surveyors were experienced mariners and knew exactly what they were doing when checking vessels.