Ship tragedy offers a big lesson - Solomon Star News

Ship tragedy offers a big lesson

20 December 2013

WE know everyone is excited about heading out to their villages at this time to spend Christmas with loved ones.

But please don’t overload our ships.

The sinking of MV Francis Gerena eight miles off Anuha island in the Central Province yesterday offered us a big lesson.

The vessel, on its way to the northern region of Malaita, is believed to be overloaded with passengers and cargo.

Marine authorities also revealed last night the captain of the vessel defied orders not to sail out.

Thankfully, no one died in the tragedy. But it would have been a major tragedy had it happened in the night.

However, the trauma and loss suffered by passengers, crew, and the shipowner, are immense.

The question that everyone should be asking is why did this overloaded vessel allowed to leave Point Cruz?

Where is the marine and police who recently promised the nation they will be on the look-out for overloaded ships?

Did Francis Gerena sail out without their notice?

And why did the ship’s captain decided to sail out when he know his vessel was overloaded?

Yes, we know everyone is excited about going home.

But please be cautious.

If the vessel you’re booked to travel is overcrowded, just leave it and look for another ship.

Ship owners and charterers don’t normally care even if their ships are overloaded. They only care about the profit they’ll get at the end of the trip.

Passengers must take responsibility for their own lives and well-being.

The captain of the vessel should be immediately detained for questioning.

He not only defied an order not to sail out, but he almost killed the more than 300 passengers on board his ship.

This is a big lesson for all ships, captains, and the travelling public.

Let’s do the right thing to ensure we all enjoy the festive season.