7 Mar 2013

Fiji passenger ferry refloated off reef near Koro

3:42 pm on 7 March 2013

A Fiji passenger ferry with more than 100 passengers aboard, which ran onto a reef near Koro Island, is now afloat again.

The Spirit of Fiji Islands, owned by Consort Shipping Limited, was pushed into the reef by a strong gust of wind as it was pulling away from a wharf early this morning.

The company's Managing Director, Justin Smith, says dive and technical teams were dispatched to assess the situation and the ship was refloated at high tide this afternoon.

"We have managed to get the vessel afloat again. It wasn't seriously grounded, and there's no breaching of the hull or damage of the hull and we're just getting the vessel across into a more stable area to drop anchor but she is currently afloat as we speak."

Justin Smith says all of the passengers were taken back to Koro Island and another ferry is being diverted to take them to Suva tonight.