Cook Islands Transport carried out inspections on boats and ships including larger domestic fleets. 21061133
Two charter fishing vessels were issued with “detention notices” due to the considerable amount of deterioration, corrosion, and structural damage, during an inspection last month.
Concerns were raised during the Maritime Safety
campaign last month in regards to the unsatisfactory conditions of small-motorised
and inter-island vessels, and the safety equipment on board.
A total of 34 vessels on Rarotonga and Aitutaki were
inspected in the two-week period from June 14 to 25. They included 29 small
motorised vessels, the Vaka Marumaru Atua, and the four inter-island domestic
Deficiencies that were identified during the
inspections have been conveyed to the owners/operators of the vessels with the
objective that the deficiencies are rectified as soon as practical, said the Secretary
of Transport John Hosking.
Two charter fishing vessels were issued with
“detention notices” due to the considerable amount of deterioration, corrosion,
and structural damage to particular areas on the vessels “that compromises the
seaworthiness, and safety of all persons on board and potentially a risk to the
safety of other shipping”.
“The Maritime Safety Authority is committed to
ensuring safety standards are high across all the domestic vessels and
chartered vessels. At the end of the day, we want everyone to come home safely.
That’s our focus,” said Hosking.
Don Beer, the president of the Cook Islands Fishing
Association, expressed the importance of the vessel inspections. “Boat safety
is an important and integral of our community - an island surrounded by the
ocean, we rely on the sea to harvest and catch fish to live on.”
With the Cook Islands an international tourism
destination, the safety of visitors on fishing charters is “paramount”.
“Inter-island travel is very much part of our way of life,
and ensuring safety is at its highest standard will eliminate accidents and
unworthy vessels,” Beer said.
“The maritime vessel inspections avoid the high cost
of search and rescue, and reduces the risk to those involved in search and
The inspections were carried out by four technical
advisors from the Pacific Maritime Safety Programme (PMSP), in collaboration
with the Maritime Safety Authority of the Cook Islands Ministry of Transport
Operations involved vessel inspections and surveys on
both Rarotonga and Aitutaki that included the identification of the current
status of safety equipment on board the vessels.
Inspectors also provided safety advice to the
owner/operators that comprised of developing maintenance systems. The technical
advisors from New Zealand imparted their knowledge and experiences with the Ministry
of Transport inspectors.
Due to time constraints, the small motorised vessels
that were unable to be inspected last month will be inspected by Transport
Hosking reassured vessel owner/operators that Ministry
of Transport will carry out the inspections/safety checks in a way that will
minimise and avoid disruption to their normal operations and daily charter