Safety first priority

Passengers on board the Spirit of Altruism wait to be transferred to the Spirit of Harmony. Picture: SUPPLIED

Passengers on board the Spirit of Altruism wait to be transferred to the Spirit of Harmony. Picture: SUPPLIED

PATTERSON Brothers Shipping Company Ltd says they had followed proper safety procedures while offloading passengers from the MV Spirit of Altruism.

Responding to concerns of passengers of the MV Spirit of Love who said they should have been offloaded at Nabouwalu to eliminate the threat to their lives, the company’s spokesperson David Patterson said they had no option but to attend to the distress call from the Altruism.

Passengers who did not wish to be named for fear of victimisation said they had neared Vanua Levu on Monday with the island looming on the horizon when the ship had to change course and attend to the passengers of the Altruism.

Meanwhile, Mr Patterson said the MV Spirit of Harmony had left Natovi earlier followed by Altruism and lastly the MV Spirit of Love.

“Upon passing Naigani Island the ship developed engine problems and drifted towards a reef in the area,” said Mr Patterson.

“We had no choice but to call back the Spirit of Love to remain by the Altruism to assist in case of emergencies.

“The safety of the passengers on board the Altruism was our top priority at the time so when the MV Harmony arrived at the scene the MV Spirit of Love then continued towards Nabouwalu.”

Mr Patterson also commended the assistance from owners of the Takalana Bay Fiji, the Natalei Eco Lodge and the Kauwai Guesthouse on Ovalau.

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