6 Feb 2012

PNG maritime authority queries vessels' suitability

4:46 am on 6 February 2012

The acting head of Papua New Guinea's maritime safety authority says too many passenger ferries in the Pacific are unsuited to the ocean conditions.

Last Thursday, the MV Rabaul Queen sank off PNG with about 350 people on board.

246 survived the sinking.

Captain Nurur Rahman from the PNG Maritime Safety Authority says the MV Rabaul was suited to short, but not for overnight trips.

"We do not have in our legislation a maximum age of the vessel that can be registered into our flags. And for that reason this vessel is about 22-years old, and the other vessels in the fleet are nearly of the same age, if not more. The region should take a strategy to have newer vessels, and vessels which are good to take voyages across deep oceans."

Captain Nurur Rahman