Owner: Kaiwai barge tragedy unfortunate

THE owner of a barge that sank in the Yasawa waters on Wednesday morning claimed that the vessel was fully compliant with all requirements for sea worthiness.

In a statement, All Barging and Marine Fiji Ltd, owners of Kaiwai, said they would assist investigations in any way.

“The Kaiwai mishap is most unfortunate as two lives have been lost and one person is still missing,” the statement read.

“Our thoughts go out to the families and loved ones we have lost.

“The vessel was fully compliant with all requirements for seaworthiness and we are co-operating with all investigations regarding this most unfortunate mishap.”

Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji CEO John Tunidau said he was out of the country but had seen the news on foreign media.

He said MSAF would normally lodge an investigation once it received a report.

Bukama Village headman Sakaraia Ravave said villagers continued to assist in the search for the missing person.

“We’ve just noted that packages of uniforms and T-shirts had surfaced late yesterday and we believe these were supplies to the school,” he said.

“We know that those who survived have returned, but there’s a lot of effort from villagers of Bukama and Dalomo to find the third person.”

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