by Mickey Kavera – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Ship owners are being warned that if operating unseaworthy vessels, they will pay the consequences for doing so dearly.
The National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) has arrested several ship owners for operating dodgy vessels over the past couple of weeks, with NMSA Standards and Compliance Manager, Joseph Pyawan, saying that operating poor quality vessels is a breach of the merchant shipping act.
The NMSA has noticed an increase in unseaworthy ships out at sea, and in light of this has been carrying out maritime operations to clamp down on these ships.
Pyawan says owners of these ships will be arrested and charged if found to be sailing in PNG waters.
The NMSA has issued numerous warnings to ships under detention; however their owners continue to ignore these warnings, endangering the lives of both passengers and crew on board.
Pyawan says that the NMSA is concentrating its efforts in provinces that do not have maritime officers to monitor such vessels.
They are also hoping to work closely with provincial government to facilitate the monitoring of ships operating in their areas.