The passenger ship,Vanuatu Ferry, is leaving on Wednesday this week for dry dock service in Australia.
Interim Regulator of marine vessels, Charlie Maniel, says the 5,000-ton conventional boat with a capacity to carry 400 passengers was last inspected and its underwater hull was found to be unsafe and the vessel has been detained until it goes to dry dock.
“This is a success story, however. Even though, Vanuatu Ferry is a big ship in the Vanuatu passenger vessels list, it has decided to comply with the order from the Office of the Maritime Regular to undergo dry dock service before being permitted to continue providing services this year,” the Regulator said.
The OMR has ordered a list of 36 vessels operating in Vanuatu to undergo slipping and to do their bookings for the services either locally or abroad and to notify the Office of the Maritime Regulator before the end of this month.
Since the Vanuatu Ferry is currently detained, the vessel will be given an exemption certificate by the OMR to allow the crew to sail the ship to Australia, leaving on Wednesday.
“Inspection will be done by OMR inspectors before the vessel leaves and on completion of dry dock work, an inspector from the OMR will fly to Australia to inspect the ship before it starts its journey back to Vanuatu,” Regulator Maniel said.
While away, the Vanuatu Ferry’s services will be continued by Vanuatu Cargo.
Meanwhile, the OMR says it is pleased with those vessels that have notified the Regular about their slipping bookings. Additional vessels have booked in Solomon Islands, Fiji and New Caledonia.
They include Kalyara, Agenda, Tauraken II, Big Sista and Urata Riki.
“The Office of the Maritime Regular is asking shipowners to come forward with their plans for slipping so that we will not detain them, but work closely with them until they go for slip work,” he added.
He said while they have been detaining bigger ships so far the small ones can also be detained if they fail to undergo slipping work as requested.