27 Jan 2010

Tongan MP sees a problem with country's maritime safety standards

12:32 pm on 27 January 2010

A people's representative in Tonga's parliament says there is clearly a problem with the country's maritime safety standards, and something will have to be done about it soon because there are no ferries operating.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry investigating last year's sinking of the Princess Ashika has heard another ferry that had been declared unsafe was allowed to leave port last weekend to attend a ship in difficulty.

The MP, Clive Edwards, says the lack of a ferry service is affecting many people, including students, whose school term is about to start.

"The inter ferry shipping service is really essential over here. You have upto 400 or 500 travelling every week to the islands at least. It's going to be hard for the people in the outer islands to be serviced and to have supplies sent out to them."

Clive Edwards, a people's representative in the Tongan parliament.