Probe starts into sunken ship

Lae News, Normal

The National- Wednesday, January 26, 2011


INVESTIGATIONS into the sunken mv Penguin along the coast of Sio in Tewae-Siassi last weekend are underway, a National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) official said yesterday.

The information about the capsized barge with 16 empty 12ft containers and an excavator surprised the owner Penguin Shipping Ltd when the NMSA informed the company owner on Monday.

“It is NMSA’s mandatory requirement to carry out proper investigations into such incidents to verify the cause and establish facts on how such 

incidents might affect the community and surrounding marine resources before decisions are made” the officer said.

“At the moment, we cannot disclose any information until the investigation is completed and the report is forwarded to the NMSA director in Port Moresby,” he added.

He said the geographical location of the incident also delayed the logistical process to carryout the investigation.

However, the owner of Penguin Shipping travelled into the area accompanied by the council manager from the area Smith Benny to investigate the cause and severity the vessel might pose to marine life.

But in such cases, it was a requirement that the shipping company and the cargo owner cooperate to remove empty containers and other cargoes that may pose a threat to the environment, the officer said.

According to vessel master James Tambale, a local himself, the vessel was held there for 

safe-keeping but unfortunately the incident occurred.

It is believed that about 10,000L of diesel was unused and remained in its (vessel’s) tank when it sank.

NMSA officers also urged the media to approach appropriate regional state authorities to verify reports rather than making assumptions in their reporting.