14 Feb 2013

Concerns raised over condition of ships in Vanuatu

5:10 am on 14 February 2013

Concerns have been raised in Vanuatu about the seaworthiness of four ships which the government wants to sell.

The acting director of the department of Ports and Marine Glen Tekau says he has raised the issue with the Tenders Board which is tasked with selling the ships on behalf of the government.

He says his department has inspected the ships, most of which haven't been used since 2009, and submitted a report to the board.

Mr Tekau says he's worried people's lives will be in danger if the ships are bought and not repaired.

"The current condition of these vessels is very bad, they are deteriorating and we have concern about them because we have cyclone systems. If someone buy in this state they have to get in to repair before start operating it."

Glen Tekau says two of the ships, the Northern Star and Southern Star, which were once used for transporting passengers and cargo, are particularly bad.

He says the ships are likely to attract interest from recreational companies in Vanuatu such as diving operators.