OMR detains Vanuatu Ferry in Santo

Office of the Maritime Regulator (OMR) in Luganville has detained Vanuatu Ferry, a cargo and freight vessel belonging to Vanuatu Ferry Limited from departing Luganville today after an incident last night where the water tight seal door not in operational.

Eye witnesses report Vanuatu Ferry came in and actually first docked at 6.30pm and somehow it couldn’t be tied up and moved out finding its way back to dock for the second time and was successful the third time at around 8pm.

About 40 minutes later the ramp opened and passengers walked out which is unusual for a marine vehicle to dock for 3 hours before passengers were allowed to move out from the ship.

Recently the Minister for Public Utilities and Infrastructure has opened the independent Office of the Maritime Regulator (OMR) to oversee safety and security in the country’s maritime sector.

The new regulator has wide ranging functions and powers to regulate the maritime industry including the regulation of the maritime sector; the registration and provisional registration of vessels; maintenance of vessels; registration of bills of sales; conveyances, mortgages, charges and liens; inspection and survey of vessels (safety certification); regulation of small craft, certification of seafarers, employment and welfare of seafarers.

The Minstry responsible has appealed to all vessel owners, shipping agents, slip ways owners, seafarers, and relevant authorities to work with OMR to ensure the standards of the maritime sector meet the requirement of laws and regulations relating to the sector.

OMR appeals to anyone who wish to make queries regarding the functions of OMR and any matters relating to vessels, licences, vessel importations, registration or general queries about the sector, to visit the Office of OMR at Top Offices in Vila Picardie, Picardie Street, Nambatu Area, Port Vila or email omr@omr.vu or contact OMR on (+678) 35445 for more information.