Fiji’s Maritime Safety Authority denies responsibility for Goundar ferry cancellations
May 10, 2021 Maritime Safety News
The Fijian shipping company that’s under investigation over the alleged mistreatment of foreign workers claims it has had to cancelled ferry routes because of new manning requirements.
Goundar Shipping announced on its Facebook page this week that it has cancelled two ferry routes because the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji had issued new manning rules.
But in its first public comments on the issues surrounding Goundar, MSAF said it “had not issued any new manning requirements as claimed by Goundar Shipping”.
“The Fijian maritime law is clear and it states that it is the ship owner and master’s responsibility to ensure that ships are properly manned at all times,” MSAF said in a statement.
“The Authority is only requiring the minimum safe manning requirements that needs to be met by operators”.
The cancellations come while Fijian police, immigration and human rights authorities investigate allegations Goundar sacked Filipino crew members and left them stranded in the country without the means to return home after they raised concerns over their pay and working conditions.