Fiji Time: 2:27 PM on Friday 28 October

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Pride of the fleet

Mere Naleba
Friday, February 21, 2014

THE newly-commissioned government landing craft MSL Sigavou is the only vessel in government's current fleet of six that features one of the five internationally recognised classifications.

Captain Pauliasi Vakaloloma, who sailed the vessel from Malaysia to Fiji over 26 days covering approximately 5000 nautical miles, said it was the first of its kind for the government and maybe the shipping industry as well.

"The vessel is built under class, I think this is the first time ever for a government vessel and probably for the industry," Captain Vakaloloma said.

"To be precise, this vessel sets another standard in the operation of maritime vessels in Fiji, not only in terms of building under class but so is the equipment available.

"The vessel has oily water separator that ensures it pumps out water out at sea. It will comply with international requirements.

"And also the sewage treatment plant, gone are the days where you can flush straight from the toilet to the sea. Now with the new regulations that are coming in, this vessel will mostly comply with nearly all the requirements that are being introduced by MSAF."

Captain Vakaloloma said it was encouraging that government was taking a lead role in ensuring that vessels brought in comply with the new regulations.

With the announcement by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama that another two landing craft would soon join the current fleet of seven vessels, Captain Vakaloloma said all three landing ships from Malaysia would have similar features and bear almost the same equipment.

"What I can say is that all the three vessels will be the same.

"Probably because this is the first one, there will be some minor changes to improve in the next one and the third one will probably be the best of all.

"For the navigation equipment, all the vessels will have more or less the same equipment."

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