20 Apr 2007

Samoa defends behaviour of Samoan seamen

9:29 am on 20 April 2007

Samoa's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the country's shipping company, Misa Telefoni, says there has been a marked improvement in the behavior of Samoan seamen overseas with good reports he received recently.

The Deputy prime minister made the comment in response to criticisms from the vice-chairman of the Global Maritime Education and Training in New Zealand, Captain Tim Wilson who is attending the Pacific Maritime Conference held in Apia this week.

Captain Wilson commenting to a local newspaper said Pacific Island countries produce the most troublesome seafarers working on foreign vessels.

Mr Wilson told the Samoa Observer newspaper it is a general problem with the Pacific getting worse not better.

The worst behaved, he said, come from Kiribati and Tuvalu, but that may be because many more of the population of those countries are seafarers.

Meanwhile Samoa's Deputy Prime Minister will meet Captain Wilson to seek officer training opportunities for Samoan seafarers.

Misa says there are not enough local officers working for overseas shipping companies.