12 Oct 2012

Tahiti strike disturbs Papeete port operations

2:35 pm on 12 October 2012

A fully laden fuel tanker is still off the port of Papeete as a strike by French Polynesian tug boat personnel is in its third day.

Yesterday a cargo ship managed to dock without the assistance of a tug boat, defying rules that a ship in excess of 3,000 tonnes needs help for security reasons.

The cargo vessel brought perishable food and was to uplift several containers of fish destined for American Samoa.

The French High Commission invoked its special powers to order a tug boat to assist.

Local radio says the order has only reached three workers while nine are needed to perform the operation.

Another ship, which is due shortly to deliver gas, won't be able to berth without tugs, raising concern about the fuel supply.