13 Dec 2012

Harbour officials defend decision to clear Cook Islands harbour despite grounding

7:26 pm on 13 December 2012

The Cook Islands Ports Authority chairman, Mike Henry, is defending the decision by Rarotonga's harbourmaster, Saungaki Rasmussen, to clear Avatiu harbour of boats early on Monday morning due to adverse weather.

Taio Shipping director, Tapi Taio, has blamed this decision for his fishing vessel, the FV Ana, being grounded on the Avatiu reef and breakwater after it broke a tow-line while being towed out of the harbour.

But Mr Henry says the facts are clear and simple.

He says with the weather office advising high seas and strong winds there was a possibility of ships being trapped in the harbour, so it was vital that the harbourmaster take action.

He says if the harbour and the vessels were damaged it could have led to Avatiu being unusable.