16 Jul 2014

More details of Vanuatu ferry sinking emerge

7:03 am on 16 July 2014

More details have emerged about the sinking of Vanuatu's ill-fated barge, the MGY, which saw 3 passengers and one crew member die after it sunk off Lelepa Island in Efate on Friday.

The owner, both its captains and the super cargo have been charged with manslaughter for the four deaths.

One of the crew members who was the last to leave the sinking vessel says that when the life rafts were lowered on to the water, one of the first people to climb in was the captain.

He says the crew member who went down with the barge went back to retrieve the cash box and lost his life as a result.

The Vanuatu police say the ferry's capacity was 30 people but it was overloaded with 41 passengers and crew and was not seaworthy.

Investigations are continuing as to why the barge was allowed to sail after it was declared unseaworthy, and was waiting to go on the slipway in Santo.