16 Feb 2018

Kiribati maritime investigation into ferry disaster progressing slowly

6:39 am on 16 February 2018
Some of the seven survivors shortly after being rescued.

Some of the seven survivors shortly after being rescued Photo: Facebook/ @RadioKiribati

The maritime director in Kiribati says his investigation into the sinking of the MV Butiraoi is progressing slowly with almost all interviews in relation to the disaster now completed.

More than 80 people who were on the boat when it sank last month are now believed dead.

Ruoikabuti Tioon said he had interviewed five of the seven survivors of the tragedy.

Two have declined to comment.

Mr Tioon said his officers have also returned from a trip to Nonouti Island, the boat's last port of call, where his team spoke with family members of the victims as well as the island council and other individuals who had contact with the ill-fated catamaran before its departure.

He said he is doing his best to complete the report with the limited resources and staff at his disposal.

"This is not a very easy task it is very huge and it is like a big burden on our office however we are trying our very best to complete the report as soon as possible because the marine division is just like we have only few people in the office," he said.

"But maybe in two weeks I can finish the report and I think I submit it to government."

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