Inter-island ferries in Tonga are still travelling to Niuatoputapu despite the facts the signal and beacon lights were damaged in the 2009 tsunami.

Sediment from the tsunami has filled the channel to the wharf so the ferry is now navigating a shallow passage.

The MV ʻOtuangaʻofa once ran aground in Niuatoputapu while navigating its way through a channel out of the Pasivūlangi harbour.

There have been claims that some passengers fell into the sea when the vessel forced its way to the wharf and tried to unload.

Some of the ferries have to stand out to sea and unload into small boats.

The CEO of FISA, Mosese Fakatou was quoted by Kakalu ʻo Tonga newspaper as saying the Marine Department said they had no money to fix the eight year old damage.

The government allocated a budget for six voyages to the Niuas a year and this can be increased if there are emergencies.

The treasury and the Niuas steering committee are responsible for the allocation of the travel.

Four voyages were assigned to FISAʻs vessel, the MV ʻOtuangaʻofa and two to be shared by the MV ʻOnemato and MV Pulupaki.

Problems:

Fakatou revealed to the paper the MV ‘Otuanga‘ofa ran aground at the Pasivūlangi because there was no signal lights.

It was reported in 2014 the ferry  hit a rock and its bow grounded at the harbour before freeing itself.

Fakatou said they had become aware the MV Pulupaki, a privately owned ship, repeatedly sailed to the Niuas causing a problems to their services because of the agreement FISA would conduct four voyages.

The MV Pulupaki was currently inoperative and the MV Onemato took over and serviced the Niuas.

Fakatou said this time they complained to the Treasury and the Niuas committee. The paper did not say whether or not there was any response to his complaint.

Fakatou claimed the people of the Niuas complained to him and asked why the MV ʻOtuangaʻofa had stopped travelling to the Niuas.

He said the Niuans did not want any other ferry to serve them.

He told the Niuans to lodge a complaint with the Treasury and their Niuas committee as they are the ones who made the changes.

The Niuas MP, Feʻao Vakata, told the paper the MV ʻOtuangaʻofa at one stage took about 24 hours to unload and some passengers fell into the sea.

He described the situation as “very dangerous.”

Vakata was responding to reports by local media that the Niuans no longer wanted the MV ʻOtu Angaʻofa to come to the Niuas.

Vakata said that was not true as he was the one who had the power to choose which ferries would travel to the Niuas based on the conditions of the wharf.

He said a three tonne van was planned to be sent to Niuatoputapu and he chose the MV ʻOnemato for that voyage because the MV ʻOtuangaʻofa cannot dock at the harbour.

However that voyage was eventually cancelled, he reportedly said.

The main points

  • Inter-island ferries in Tonga are still travelling to Niuatoputapu despite the facts the signal and beacon lights were damaged in the 2009 tsunami.
  • Sediment from the tsunami has filled the channel to the wharf so that the ferry is now navigating a shallow passage.
  • The MV ʻOtuangaʻofa once ran aground in Niuatoputapu while attempting to reach the wharf because of the restriction.
  • There have been claims that some passengers fell into the sea when the vessel forced its way to the wharf and tried to unload.

Comments / Tālanga

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

1 COMMENT

  1. ‘Oku kei tukufolau pe ngaahi vaká ki Niuatoputapu neongo ʻa e ʻikai ha maama fakaʻilonga ke ne fakahinohino kinautolu he ngaahi fehūʻaki ki uafu hili hono maumauʻi kotoa e ngaahi fakaʻilongá ia ʻe he peaukula ʻo e 2009.

    Kuo tatanu foki e hūʻanga ki he uafú he ngāue ʻa e sunamí pea ko e fakahaohao ka lahilahi e taimi ʻoku feinga ai ngaahi vaka ʻe niʻihi ki taulangá.

    Ne tūkia foki e MV ʻOtuangaʻofá ʻo hilifakia he taha ʻene feinga ke foki mei he taulanga Niuatoputapú koeʻuhi ko e ʻikai ha fakaʻilongá.

    Kuo ʻi ai e pehē ne fetooki ha kau pāsese ki tahi he taimi ne feinga ai e vaká ni ke fakahifó.

    Ko e niʻihi ʻo e ngaahi vaká ʻoku nau lava tau ki he uafú he taimí ni pea niʻihi lepa pe ʻi tuʻa ʻo fakahifo mei ai ki ha fanga kiʻi vaka iiki hangē ko e MV ʻOtuangaʻofá.

    Ne hā ha fakamatala ʻa e CEO ʻa e FISA Mōsese Fakatou ʻi he pepa Kakalu ʻo Tongá ʻo pehē kuo fakahā mei he Potungāue Malini ʻoku ʻikai ha paʻanga ia ke ngaohiʻaki e maumau ko ʻeni kuo taʻu valu ʻena lepá talu mei he sunamí.

    Kuo fakapaʻanga ʻe he puleʻangá ha foʻi folau ʻe ono he taʻu ki Niua pea ʻe lava ke fakalahi ʻi ha fiemaʻu fakavavevave.

    ʻOku ʻi he malumalu ʻo e Fale Paʻangá mo e Kōmiti ʻa e Ongo Niuá ʻa hono vahevahe ʻo e folau ko ʻení ki he ngaahi vaká.

    Ko e foʻi folau ai ʻe fā maʻa e MV ʻOtuangaʻofá pea ua ko eé ki he ʻOnemató mo e Pulupakí.

    Ne fakahā ʻe Fakatou ki he pepá ne tūkia e MV ʻOtuangaʻofá ʻi he taulanga Pasivūlangí koeʻuhī ko e ʻikai ha fakaʻilongá.

    Naʻe līpooti foki ʻi he 2014 ʻa hono tuiʻi ʻe he ʻOtuangaʻofa ha fuʻu maka he taulangá ʻo hilifakia ai ʻa hono taumuʻa ki muʻa pea toki feinga ʻo lava ʻo homo mei ai.

    Kaekehe ne pehē ʻe Fakatoú ne nau fakatokangaʻi ki mui mai ʻa e toutou folau pe ʻa e MV Pulupaki ki Niua ʻo hoko ia ke palopalema ai ʻenau fokotuʻutuʻu folaú koeʻuhi he ne ʻosi fai e femahinoʻaki mo e puleʻangá mo e kōmiti ʻa Niua ʻe fā kinautolu kae taki taha e ongo vaka ko eé.

    ʻI he taimi ní kuo tuʻu e Pulupaki kae hū mai e ʻOnemato ʻo hoko atu ʻe ia e lelé kae ʻikai ʻoange ha faingamālie ʻo e ʻOtuangaʻofá, fakatatau kia Fakatou.

    Ne ne pehē ne nau lāunga leva ki Fale Paʻanga mo e Kōmití ka ne ʻikai mahino pe kuo ʻi ai ha tali ki he lāunga ko ʻení.

    Pehē ʻe Fakatoú ne fakahā ange ʻe he kau Niuá ʻoku ʻikai ke nau toe fiemaʻu ha vaka kehe ke ʻalu ange nau fiemaʻu pe ʻa e ʻOtuangaʻofá.

    Ne ne faleʻi kinautolu ke nau lāunga ki Fale Paʻanga mo ʻenau kōmití he ko kinautolu ne nau fai ʻa e liliú.

    Ne fakahā ʻe he fakafofonga Fale Alea ʻo e Ongo Niuá ki he pepá ne ʻi ai e fakahifo ʻe taha ʻa e ʻOtu Angaʻofá ne mei houa ʻe 24 ʻenau fāinga pea ne ʻi ai tokua e kau pāsese niʻihi ne nau ngangana ki tahi.

    Ne ne pehē ne fuʻu fakatuʻutāmaki ʻaupito e feinga fakahifo ko ʻení.
    Ko e tali ʻeni ʻa Vakatā ki ha lipooti he ngaahi mitiá ʻo pehē kuo ʻikai toe fiemaʻu ʻe he kau Niuá e ʻOtu Angaʻofá ke folau ange.

    Pehē ʻe Vakataá ʻoku ʻikai ke moʻoni ia he ko ia ia ʻoku ʻi ai e mafai ke fili ko e fē vaka ke folaú makatuʻunga he natula e uta te ne lava koeʻuhī ko e tuʻunga ʻo e uafú.

    Ne ne pehē ne ʻi ai e fiemaʻu ke ʻave veeni toni ʻe tolu ki Niuatoputapu pea naʻe pau ia ke fakafolau he ʻOnemató he ʻoku ʻikai lava ʻa e ʻOtuangaʻofá ia ʻo tau ki taulanga ka ne iku pe ʻo kaniseli e folau ia ko iá.