6 Apr 2017

Report issued on Cook Islands ferry grounding

6:14 pm on 6 April 2017

A report into the grounding of a Cook Islands ferry on a reef in Nassau says the lack of a detailed chart, lack of radio communication and unfamiliarity with the reef contributed to the accident.

In Avatiu harbor, Rarotonga - to the left Lady Moana and Maungaroa II. Taio Shipping services reduced to just two vessels following the grounding last week of its star vessel Moana Nui.

In Avatiu harbor, Rarotonga - to the left Lady Moana and Maungaroa II. Photo: Manava Media

The Ministry of Transport's preliminary report into the stranding of MV Moana Nui also said insurance assessors have determined that the ship is salvageable.

The boat's owner, Tapi Taio, has told Cook Islands News attempts would be made to re-float the vessel and tow it to American Samoa for repairs.

Investigators have urged a channel be created on the southern or southwestern side of Nassau so that the islanders don't have to carry all their cargo over the reef.

They also want new surveys of the outer islands to be done to produce more detailed and comprehensive charts which could be used by vessels which have to operate close to land.

The investigators said large mooring buoys should be established on each island for vessels to use during cargo-handling operations.

It was also disclosed that Nassau does not have any facilities to enable radio communication between vessels and the island.

The investigators say VHF and/or other radio equipment "must be available on each island to ensure effective communication between vessels and shore authorities."