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MSAF to sink wrecked vessel

Luke Rawalai
Monday, February 05, 2018

THE Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji may consider sinking a wrecked fishing vessel that was found drifting in Taveuni waters last month.

MSAF's chief executive officer John Tunidau said while they were not responsible, they were informed of the wrecked vessel.

"The vessel was towed into the shallows by boat operators on Taveuni after it was found drifting in waters close to the island," he said.

"Unfortunately, the vessel is not registered in Fiji and therefore we do not have jurisdiction over the boat.

"We were trying to ascertain the owners of the boat and no one had come out to claim it.

"However, the wreckage is in our waters and we need to deal with it."

Mr Tunidau said they would look at ways to dispose of the vessel.

"The obligation is on the owners to sink the vessel and for this particular case we will carry out an investigation to ascertain its owners," he said. "At the end of the day we have to sink it."

Meanwhile, the capsized vessel was found between Yanuca and Rabi waters off Taveuni as it was drifting along the Somosomo Strait.

The vessel was towed to Salia by the police and MSAF early last month and has been lying there ever since.

Police say looking at the status of the 43 metre long vessel, it was likely it was burnt and has been drifting for months.

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