Rabaul Queen owner and captain acquitted

4:43 pm on 31 July 2017

The captain and owner of the doomed inter-island ferry, the Rabaul Queen, have been acquitted of manslaughter charges by Papua New Guinea's National Court.

The Rabaul Queen

The Rabaul Queen Photo: Supplied

The ferry sank off Morobe on 2nd of February 2012, killing an estimated 172 people.

On trial were the ferry owner Captain Peter Sharp and his captain Anthony Tsiau facing multiple charges of manslaughter.

Mr Sharp's lawyer successfully argued that state prosecutors failed to prove there was any risk associated with the normal use of of the Rabaul Queen after it left Kimbe port which the owner or captain should have foreseen.

Mr Tsiau's lawyer submitted that the sinking was linked to the natural phenomenon of a series of large waves rather than negligence of the captain.

However the two men, along with other staff of Rabaul Shipping, are still facing charges of sending or taking an unseaworthy vessel out to sea.

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