Home > Human rights, Papua New Guinea > Government to probe Rabual Queen disaster

Government to probe Rabual Queen disaster

February 6, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

By Frank Rai

The National Government has announced that an independent investigation will be launched to look into the ill-fated ship tragedy that claimed many lives last week, reports the Post Courier.

While responding to a petition presented by more than 230 survivors in Lae last Friday, Minister for National Planning and Monitoring Sam Basil said Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has given the green light for an investigation.

In the petition, the Rabaul Queen survivors demanded amongst other things the shipping company, Rabaul Shipping’s vessels to be audited, shipping operations cease and the survivors compensated for the loss of their valuable properties and loved ones.

They also demanded that the owner of the shipping vessel and her crew members to be immediately arrested and charged with manslaughter.

The survivors claimed that the ship was not sea worthy but it was overloaded with passengers and cargos, forcing it to capsize during the rough sea last week.

They demanded that since the shipping company had knowingly operated an unseaworthy ship, its captain, crew and the owner should be arrested and charged with manslaughter.

Meanwhile, Mr Basil said an independent investigation team from New Zealand will be engaged to carry out the investigation.

He said the investigation will also audit all ships belonging to Rabaul Shipping and establish the cause of the ill-fated tragedy at Finschhafen.

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  1. February 6, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Thankx Mr. Basil I think thats what we need, an independent investigation team. That is the only way we could get trustworty results and justice will prevail. We can’t depend on our own national investigation team especially when PS and some of his close relatives are in the NMSA.Hope investigation evantuate soon..

  2. Karsie
    February 6, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Not one, not two but three different and independent teams to conduct investigations into everything surrounding the accident. It can hardly be said and accepted that only one independent team will come up with a satisfactorily conclusive result. To eliminate any possible forms of weaknesses, bias, legal and ethical concerns there must never be only “one independent team” of investigators to probe the accident and related allegations. Lack of funds should not be an excuse. Wanem, ol public moni bai stap na yupla ol bigman yusim lo kempein?

  3. Eremas Wartoto
    February 7, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    I have been busy trying in the last three years to upgrade or contribute to acceptable standard of transportation in PNG. Im 100% percent sure the Rabaul Queen or any queen for that matter is not a sea worthy vessel to travel on at Australian standard let alone our PNG standards. I also give my thumps up for Mr Peter Sharp for his committment in transportation in PNG so far under difficult circumstanstances, but it is also a crime to float a vessel that have not met the basic safety requirement. A while back Mr Sharp ban all expatriate on travelling in his queens (ships) which one would view as an acknowlegement of the poor safety standard on his vessels which could result in courts outside PNG paying huge amount of compensation unheard of in PNG legal system. Further more overloading the Rabaul Queen with more than 200 passengers without proper sitting is a crime beyond crime. Peter Sharp is also a blood brother of the chairman of National Maritime Safety Authority of PNG. Im also aware that I wrote these comments not because I own a competitive business to Mr Peter Sharp but because Im a relative, a friend and a wantok of those missing love ones.

    I pray we keep looking and find those missing alive in the next one week.

    My name is Eremas Wartoto.

    Unfortunately our politicians/Leaders always comes up with crisis solutions rather than protective measures and continous improvement of our public transportation. I hear the Politicians/Leaders are now talking and pointing fingures but I bet you in a months time all 300 passengers wil be forgotten so as any improvement to our PNG public transportation system. Any investigation done is only a tool to document the findings to be addressed but if there is no government clear policy on public transportation improvement and action programme this disaster will definetely happen again in the near future. GOD BLESS PNG.

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