The Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji is pleading with ship operators, ship agents and our stakeholders to practice due diligence during this festive season.
Regarded as the peak season for inter-island traveling, MSAF will be monitoring the movement of passengers and crew before departure and on arrival at all our local ports to ensure safety is not compromised at any time.
In an effort to maintain the highest level of safety, MSAF has increased manpower at busy ports, this is to guarantee swift flow of operations during this busy period.
Ship operators and owners are once again reminded of the need to ensure that safety of passengers and crew are not bargained with, and that passenger’s travel in comfort, therefore, members of the public should expect to see an increase in MSAF Enforcement officers at local wharves and jetties as they keep a watchful eye on issues that may compromise safety.
Ship operators, owners and agents are reminded once again of issues relating to overloading and the onus is on them to ensure that the number of passengers correlates to the figure that’s stated on the survey certificate
Breaching the figure stated on the survey certificate would mean the vessel to be grounded until it complies with the requirements stipulated in the Maritime Transport Act 2013, as overloading of passengers can cause overcrowding, which affects the safety of all onboard and how effective the crew should respond in mitigating actions to situations concerning passengers.
Under the maritime laws, shipping companies and or operators may face fines, detention of ships, risk to the operator’s licenses, and further Court action.
Passenger vessels should have adequate lifesaving appliances on board the vessel for its passengers.
Members of the traveling public should also note that MSAF enforcement Officers have the right, by law, to stop any member of the public from boarding a ship if overloading takes place.
The Authority will take necessary steps to ensure that safety at sea is not compromised.
Affected passengers are advised to contact the ship owners, operators and agents accordingly to facilitate further travel if they are stopped from boarding due to overloading.