30 Nov 2009

Ashika probe findings not due till March

11:09 pm on 30 November 2009

The Commission of Inquiry into the sinking of the Princess Ashika ferry in Tonga is refusing to release any preliminary findings in its interim report into the disaster.

The report is being filed five weeks into its investigations into the disaster.

The Princess Ashika sank on the night of 5 August while on route to Ha'apai from Nuku'alofa, claiming the lives of 74 people.

The inquiry has so far heard from crew and maritime officials who painted a picture of a vessel that was inappropriate for Tonga's needs, unseaworthy and riddled with corrosion.

In issuing its interim report, the Commission says it would be premature to make any preliminary findings.