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Ship safety course aims to save lives

Friday September 07, 2018 Written by Published in Environment
At the Pacific Community domestic ship safety training workshop yesterday were: (from left), Transport ministry compliance manager Rei Enoka, Sergeant Marah Tairi and Andrew Ngaiaere of the Cook Island Police Service maritime division, Maritime Affairs staff member Elenoa Rokodi, fisheries officer Saiasi Sarau, workshop manager Fonga Taio, Savenaca Virivirisai of Cook Island Towage, Omirete Tabureka of Maritime Affairs GEM division, Maritime Cook Islands’ Brendan Smith and MMR Penrhyn fisheries officer Taimana Matara. Seated (from left) are maritime technical manager, Ministry of Transport Saungaki Rasmussen, Maritime Cook Islands fleet manager Stacey Mischeski and harbour master John Jessie. 180906025 At the Pacific Community domestic ship safety training workshop yesterday were: (from left), Transport ministry compliance manager Rei Enoka, Sergeant Marah Tairi and Andrew Ngaiaere of the Cook Island Police Service maritime division, Maritime Affairs staff member Elenoa Rokodi, fisheries officer Saiasi Sarau, workshop manager Fonga Taio, Savenaca Virivirisai of Cook Island Towage, Omirete Tabureka of Maritime Affairs GEM division, Maritime Cook Islands’ Brendan Smith and MMR Penrhyn fisheries officer Taimana Matara. Seated (from left) are maritime technical manager, Ministry of Transport Saungaki Rasmussen, Maritime Cook Islands fleet manager Stacey Mischeski and harbour master John Jessie. 180906025

One man was down and being resuscitated when the captain of the Layar Mas 291 made the “abandon ship” call, due to an out-of-control fire in two containers.

 

A safety crew had tried to contain the fire using skills they had learnt over the last three days at the Pacific Community domestic ship safety training workshop, and the fire simulation was the culmination of some of what they had learned.

“The ultimate object of the programme is to impose safety through the implementation of the safety management system,” says Pacific Community ship safety audit adviser Omirete Tabureka.

The training programme began in 2010 after two tragic accidents aboard domestic ships in Tonga and shortly after in Kiribati the year before.

“A lot of people lost their lives and this is the product that came from the need to introduce safety procedures, said Tabureka.

“We deliver a workshop and safety management system manual and the goal is general safety awareness.”

Another maritime accident in Kiribati earlier this year happened on a ship owned by a new operator who had not implemented a safety plan.

Tabureka says there are mandatory safety measures for bigger ships but not for domestic vessels.

From 2013 the programme was extended to eight other islands including Tonga, Kiribati, Marshall islands, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Samoa and Fiji and finally this year, the Cook Islands.

This is the first time the programme has come to the Cook Islands and it is the 10th island where the programme has been presented.

“We keep going back to the other countries, to check that they have implemented the safety operations plan manual and we will do the same here,” says Tabureka. 

The initial pilot programme was funded by Australia and then the SPC, and for the next three years the New Zealand government will fund the programme, which will extend to Tokelau, Papua New Guinea and Palau.

“Once the programme becomes functional in each country, it is expected that they will take ownership of the programme themselves and run their own training and do the audits themselves,” says Tabureka.

Director of Maritime, Ngatokorua Ngatokorua Jnr, says the workshop and the safety training will be particularly important for the people of the pa enua, and it is a matter of all domestic ships to put into practice the safety measures introduced.

He says while some ship owners may be reluctant to introduce the safety measures, it will be cheaper and easier for them in the long run to keep up to date.

“Our main aim is the safety of domestic shipping in the Cook Islands.”