Rabaul port wants wrecks removed

Islands, Normal

The National – Tuesday, December 21, 2010

OWNERS of  wrecked vessels lying idle on the shores of Rabaul port, East New Britain, have been advised to immediately remove them.
PNG Harbours Management Services (PNGHMS), a division of PNG Ports Corporation Ltd, in a public notice, reminded the owners to remove their wrecks.
Some of these vessels include New Ireland’s mv Paul Tohian and mv Beaumaris, West New Britain’s mv Elle Tanya. Others include mv Niugini Glory, mv Penopo Pride and mv Sunmil.
Most of these ships are rotting at the Rabaul wharf due to mismanagement over the years.
Some of these vessels have been inhabited by settlers in Rabaul town. Children, especially during hot days, use them as playgrounds.
Concerns have also been raised that these vessels were being used as brothels and for gambling and were an eyesore for the main and busiest port in the New Guinea Islands, the Simpson Harbour.
Vessel owners are being given until the end of the month to remove their wrecks.
PNGHMS has also called for expression of interest from bidders to remove them if the vessels are not removed by Dec 31, saying any costs incurred in the removal of the wrecks would be recovered from the vessel owners.
Rabaul town authority has, in the recent past, conducted joint operations with police to try and control the illegal settling of people on the vessels who also engage in gambling and prostitution activities.