Aussie safety bureau awaits call to aid probe

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 15th Febuary 2012

THE Australian Transport Safety Bureau is yet to be approached officially to help in the investigation into the sinking of the mv Rabaul Queen off Finschhafen on Feb 2.
The bureau said it was prepared to help any investigation into the ferry accident and was expecting an official request for assistance from the Papua New Guinea government.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was reported this week as saying that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority would conduct the inquiry.
But when The National contacted the organisation, a spokesman said it was the Bureau and not the AMSA that was approached.
It is most likely the bureau would be approached as it had collaborated with and helped in previous investigations in the past.
The most recent was the Oct 13, 2011, Airlines PNG Dash 8 crash outside Madang, the disappearance of a helicopter and its pilot off Manus in 2011 and the other APNG tragic accident in Kokoda in 2009.
“The ATSB is preparing to assist the Commission of Inquiry into the ferry accident involving mv Rabaul Queen and we are expecting an official request for assistance from the PNG government soon,” the bureau said.
“We will make a formal announcement on our involvement via a release on our website when this happens.”