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MSAF crackdown on overloading vessels

August 24, 2012 1:07 am

A formal hearing begins on Monday next week into the attempted overloading of inter island ferries.

A number of vessels have been stopped in the past week by the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji and forced to off load passengers and cargo.

MSAF CEO Neal Slack says they’re clamping down on shipping companies who for sometime have breached their laws.

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“We’ve noticed and have reports from regional enforcement and compliance officers who’ve witnessed personally, the attempted overloading of vessels. Not by one or two passengers, you’re talking hundreds, attempted overloading up to a hundred people additional, that’s unacceptable.”

Slack says their main priority is safety, and harsher penalties will be imposed to deter ship operators from overloading.

“The MTD and the SRD, will have significant penalties in there for breaches to the legislation. Why? For us to secure revenue? Not at all…to deter? Absolutely. Deter to the point where no-one will ever consider doing it. That’s the intention. What’s the motive? Safety! Maritime safety!”

No names of shipping companies have been released as Slack says they’re investigating.

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