22 Jul 2005

Master of sunken Solomon Islands ship should not have put to sea

3:02 pm on 22 July 2005

The captain of a passenger ferry that sank in Solomon Islands did not have permission to put to sea, authorities there say.

The 60 passengers and crew of the MV Liofai were rescued yesterday, but valuable cargo is said to have been lost.

Dorothy Wickham reports.

"The ship that sank in Makira had actually been suspended, or there had been a notice given to them that they weren't allowed to sail because they weren't meeting the safety requirements that is being regulated by the maritime division. They did not adhere to that and they sailed and then this mishap happened in Makira. He however, did not reveal the penalties that would be incurred by the company that owns Liofai, the vessel that sank."