1 Aug 2013

Ferry beaching raises concern over PNG shipping safety

7:33 pm on 1 August 2013

A government official in West New Britain in Papua New Guinea, Steven Raphael, says the operators of the Rabaul Queen which sank off Morobe last year are continuing to put people's lives at risk.

Mr Raphael, who is also the chairman of the Provincial Disaster and Emergency Committee, says two weeks ago the Rabaul Shipping's Alotau Queen had to be beached in rough weather near the village of Kilenge.

The Post Courier reports him as saying the inter island ferry was taking on water but villagers came to the rescue of the passengers, using dinghies to take them to shore.

Mr Raphael says the passengers were later picked up by another ferry and taken to Lae, while Rabaul Shipping removed its boat during the night with no word of thanks to the villagers.

He is now calling on the National Maritime and Safety Authority to investigate the incident and take action against the shipping company.

Mr Raphael says the company has shown ignorance by continuing to operate unseaworthy vessels, putting people's lives at risk.