Samoa Ferry On ‘Lifesaving Mission’ To Tokelau Waters

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Shipping Corp. manager denies claims vessel is faulty

By Lanuola Tupufia

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Oct. 4, 2015) – The General Manager of the Samoa Shipping Corporation (S.S.C), Papali’i Willie Nansen, has denied reports that the Corporation’s newest ferry, M.V S.S.C Fasefulu, has not been operating.

Papali’i instead told the Sunday Samoan that the ferry is on a lifesaving mission on the waters of Tokelau.

The $8m [US$3.4 Million] ferry, launched during the last day of the Corporation’s 40th birthday celebration at the beginning of the year, left the country on Thursday.

The trip, according to Papali’i, is in response to a call from Tokelau.

"The vessel has left for the rescue operation to find three people from Tokelau that were on a fishing boat," said Papali’i.

Fasefulu is the only vessel that’s fitting and available for the operation. It was not possible to get an official comment from the Tokelau office yesterday.

But Papali’i said the Fasefulu has been travelling back and forth between Upolu and Savai’i to transport petroleum products.

He explained that it makes about four trips a month to Savai’i and an additional three trips to Tokelau.

"The M.V Nafanua is currently not in operation so Fasefulu makes up for those trips to Tokelau," said Papali’i.

He also rejected reports that the $8million vessel was faulty.

In March, the vessel underwent modification with some parts being replaced so that "safety is secured."

The 2013 ship was bought from Malaysia with assistance from the Westpac Bank who provided US$2.5million of the ship’s cost.

The ferry is 45meters in its length and 42 meters wide. The vessel was brought to Samoa by staff members of the Corporation.

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