BISMARCK Maritime, owner of the stricken mv Lihir Express, maintains that its vessel has been certified to the highest standards of the merchant navy.
“The mv Lihir Express, a ship on the PNG register, is currently in class with the international recognised class society, Lloyd’s Register and last month, the vessel fulfilled its scheduled Lloyd’s special survey including dry-docking, overhaul of all machinery on board and inspection of safety equipment,” the company said in a statement yesterday.
“Last Saturday, mv Lihir Express was involved in an accident in the course of voyage 469S. Contrary to false reports, all crew of the vessel are safe and accounted for.
“The vessel did not sink as rumoured and is in (the) port of Lae.
“Investigations are underway to ascertain the cause of the incident.”
It added that another vessel, the mv Lae Express, would run on voyage 470S from Lae to Port Moresby “this weekend and is not expected to be affected”.
Bismarck Maritime issued the statement after the landing craft mv Lihir Express limped into Lae port on Sunday afternoon.
It was assisted into the port by two other vessels, including the landing craft mv Victoria.
Yesterday morning, several people gathered at the Bismarck Maritime wharf at Milfordhaven, to enquire about their cargo.
After they were prevented from entering by security guards, they hurled abuse, sticks and stones at the corrugated fence gate.
The owner of Bismarck Maritime, Hamish Sharp, is also the chairman of the board of the National Maritime Safety Authority.
In the past two years, Bismarck Maritime has been beset by a string of misfortunes including mishaps involving the mv Gulf Glory and the mv San Pedro.