Rabaul Shipping shuts office

Main Stories, National

The National, Friday 03rd Febuary 2012

RELATIVES of passengers who were board the mv Rabaul Queen were yesterday turned away from the Rabaul Shipping office in Lae with the company refusing to answer any queries and closed their doors.
Irate relatives who waited all day for news on the tragedy, wanting to find out if family members and friends were safe, were unhappy that the shipping company could not say anything about the accident or provide the passenger list (manifest).
Many supported the prime minister’s call for a commission of inquiry into the accident.
Many said they had been on mv Rabaul Queen which had been taking more than the 300 passengers allowed.
Many were also irritated that the radio stations in the country did not carry much on the disaster and most of the information they collected yesterday was from overseas stations such as Radio Australia.
The group could not obtain information from Rabaul Shipping so moved to the provincial disaster office to await word from the search and rescue operation members who returned in a helicopter late yesterday afternoon. 
Acting Morobe provincial administrator Patillias Gamato, after being briefed by his officers, assured them that all was being done to account for the passengers.
He assured them that ocean-going vessels with survivors on board would be arriving later in the night and that the disaster office would be open all night to receive queries.