Lack of barge snags MSAF’s plans

THE unavailability of a beaconing barge has posed challenges to efforts by the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) to carry out repair and replacement of beacons damaged by Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston.

CEO John Tunidau said the unavailability of getting a safe and operating platform to install beacons was a another challenging factor.

He said because of adverse weather, including the recent Category 5 storm, beacons were damaged, some were completely destroyed.

“Some beaconing work has been carried out in Natovi, Nabouwalu and Kadavu. MSAF has plans in place for beaconing replacement and maintenance in scheduled areas of priority,” Mr Tunidau said.

Mr Tunidau said proper beacons with at least a five to 10-year lifespan cost about $5000 each.

“This cost can be reduced based on the numbers of beacons to be installed and their locations.”

Mr Tunidau, who was in the Northen Division last week, also assured boat operators in the Bua, Cakaudrove and Macuata provinces that beacons had been installed in these areas. This was after concerns were raised on the lack of beacons to guide vessels operating within these waters.

Earlier on this newspaper received concerns from boat operators on the lack of beacons in the Buca Bay area.

Vunikura boat operator Senibiau Lavetibau said boats had sunk in the Buca Bay area because of the lack of beacons to guide boats during adverse weather and the hours of darkness.

More Stories