19 Jul 2010

Kiribati maritime police say awareness of safety is greater following the ferry disaster

8:13 pm on 19 July 2010

The Kiribati police say most boat owners are complying with safety regulations following a ferry capsizing that claimed 35 lives last July.

A report by New Zealand's Transport Accident and Investigation Commission has found the ferry, Uean Te Raoi II was overloaded, and had been modified so it was unstable in open seas.

Kiribati police maritime commander John Mote says they have talked with most boat owners who are now aware of the consequences if they breach their licences

"We can hold their ships and we can stop their service and we can stop their service and they can lose their income. They are aware of the consequence if they continue to ignore this overloading. We'll just stop their vessel and put them back to port straight away, and we take the captain to the police station and we book him."

But John Mote says some boats departing from different locations can still sneak through carrying too many passengers.