The National, Friday 7th September, 2012
LEGAL Action Committee chairman Tommy Yep has expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for tabling the Commission of Inquiry Report into the sinking of the mv Rabaul Queen.
The inquiry report was tabled in Parliament on Wednesday by O’Neill’s deputy Leo Dion six months after the worst maritime disaster in the country occurred nine nautical miles off the coast of Finschhafen, Morobe.
The passenger ferry owned and operated by Peter Sharp’s shipping company, Rabaul Shipping, sank on Feb 2.
The report said that between 142 and 161 people died in the tragedy, with only four bodies recovered after the sinking.
The committee headed by Yep was formed to represent the survivors and the victims of the disaster and to take legal proceedings against Sharp.
Yep yesterday said he was very happy that the inquiry report was finally tabled.
“The operator (Sharp) was very disrespectful.”
Yep was critical of the National Maritime and Safety Authority and said nobody, including the shipping industry, could complain because the authority was dysfunctional.
Yep said the committee was now studying the inquiry report before proceeding with legal action against Sharp.
“The lawyers will be travelling to those centres where the victims and survivors are from and double check the facts of the disaster such as who’s missing and any information relating to the sinking.”