Three vessels seized in Buka

Main Stories, National

The National, Tuesday 07th Febuary 2012

THREE of Star Shipping Ltd vessels and their crew have been prevented from leaving their berths at Buka wharf in the wake of last week’s ferry tragedy when
the mv Rabaul Queen sank.
The mv Solomon Queen, mv Kopra 2 and mv Kopra 4 have been instructed to remain anchored until Star Shipping had compensated all Bougainvillean passengers who travelled from Kimbe to Lae on the ill-fated vessel last Thursday.
Relatives of the passengers had assured the company they would not damage the ships or harm the crew.
But they wanted Star Shipping owner Peter Sharp to meet all expenses for displaced survivors and the repatriation of the deceased to Bougainville.
Local level government chief executive officer Herbert Kimai confirmed that a meeting with relatives was held last Sunday where they assured the local authorities, including the Bougainville police service, of the safety of the vessels.
“The relatives have agreed that they will not damage the ships,” Kimai said.
“They recognise that Bougainville is moving forward in terms of peace and will not go back to the days of fighting and destruction of property.”
Bougainville President John Momis had called for calm and appealed to those involved to respect the inquiry taking place.