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Archived News: December 2013

From (31 December 2013)

Dredging programme to improve shipping services in Rotuma

To improve shipping services for those who live in Rotuma a dredging programme will be undertaken around the Oinafa jetty next year.

Fiji Roads Authority Strategy, Planning and Performance Manager Christine Serreyn said the accumulated sand around the jetty often makes it impossible for vessels to dock.

Serreyn said the solution to the problem is to instigate a dredging programme to remove built up sand.

Meanwhile Serreyn had recently visited the island with an engineering specialist in maritime infrastructure to assess the situation.

Story by: Gwen Mc Goon (copyright 1997)

From Fiji Times Online (18 December 2013)

To Rotuma and back

by Ana Madigibuli

THE recently-launched Lomaiviti Princess II has starting proving its worth by travelling successfully to Rotuma last week.

The $1.5m vessel transported 180 passengers safely to Rotuma on Sunday and returned on Friday morning last week on a chartered trip.

The vessel, which provides employment to more than 100 workers, was brought in from Tahiti to help ease the constant shipping servicing problems in the country.

The Lomaiviti Princess II is owned by Goundar Shipping Limited, which has made clear its intention to secure a franchise to service the Rotuma route.

Company director George Goundar said the vessel was chartered to Rotuma by a group of church members.

"The vessel was able to carry 180 passengers, five vehicles and other personal cargo," he said.

"The vessel can carry approximately 300 passengers, 700 tonnes of cargo, 30 tonnes of frozen goods and 1000 drums of fuel.

"The 700 tonnes of cargo does not include the number of vehicles that can go on board, so the ship has a good cargo capacity."

Mr Goundar said the vessel did not encounter any problems on the Rotuma route and that the passengers had a safe trip.

"It would be beneficial for the people if we provide services to them, due to the huge capacity of the vessel," Mr Goundar said.

"We are able to carry huge amount of cargo and passengers at the same time, and it gives people living in the outer island a better chance of visiting their island comfortably."

Mr Goundar said the passengers who travelled to Rotuma appreciated the vessel's services.

"The passengers had to pay $200 each for the trip.

"We will be returning to Rotuma to bring those passengers back, so it will be our second trip to Rotuma since the launch of the vessel."

He said the company had taken the vessel to Tuvalu, Rotuma and would make their rounds to Koro and Vanuabalavu before the year ends.

"We would really appreciate if the government reconsiders giving us the chance to service the outer islands like Rotuma under the franchise since we have the right vessels to transport passengers and bulk cargoes," Mr Goundar said.

He highlighted that the Lomaiviti Princess I had encountered a few problems last week but the company was doing its best to rectify issues involved.

© Fiji Times Ltd.