CRACKDOWN ON SOLOMONS SHIPPING AS INCIDENTS GROW

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (August 30, 2001 - Solomon Star/PINA Nius Online)---The Solomon Islands Marine Division is making plans to check all ships to ensure that they have valid safety certificates.

The project results from a recent series of ship accidents.

They include the sinking of the MV Thomas E, carrying 72 passengers. It went down in rough seas between Gela and Malaita.

The Australian Navy's HMAS Melbourne and a local fishing boat, the Soltai II, saved the passengers, who had to be rescued from the sea.

Several weeks earlier the MV Ligomo IV caught fire off the coast of Makira, with passengers jumping overboard and swimming ashore, and a Solgreen fishing boat sank in a storm in Western Province. Two of the fishing boat's crewmen are missing and believed dead.

Ships remain the main means of travel among the country's many scattered islands.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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