11 Aug 2010

Tonga ferry replacement safe says project manager

9:08 pm on 11 August 2010

The project manager overseeing the ferry which has replaced Tonga's ill-fated Princess Ashika, says he can guarantee there will be no repeat of last year's disaster.

The Princess Ashika sank last August, with 74 people dying.

The new vessel, the Ajang Subuh, has been subject to claims that it has run aground twice, and runs on two propellers instead of three, which puts it at risk of ending up on a reef.

But project manager Steve Young says the ferry has never run aground, and runs perfectly well on two propellers.

He says the Ajang Subuh is probably the most inspected ship in the Pacific, and a survey being carried out, is just routine, and not sparked by media attention as some people have suggested.