The Ministry wish to confirm that the MV Ajang Subuh did not run aground on a reef as implicated in the article publicised on the Matangi Tonga website (07 July 2010).
On the voyage to the Niua group of islands between 16th and 20th June 2010, the vessel contacted an uncharted obstacle or log debris and sustained some damage to the centre propeller of the vessel. The center propeller has no keel/skeg or protection around it, thus leaving it susceptible to damage through floating objects. It is believed that the contact occurred on exiting Niuatoputapu at approximately 1600hrs on 18th June 2010.
The minimum under keel clearance calculated prior to departing Niuatoputapu was 0.75m however a minimum depth of 0.70m was observed on the vessels sounder. There was no variation on the passage leads and the weather was calm and suitable for the intended voyage.
The Ministry of Transport confirms that the MV Ajang Subuh encountered an engine drive coupling failure upon its return to Tongatapu. The vessel ceased operations while a replacement coupling was being ordered from abroad.
The Ministry of Transport confirms a surveyor from the Marine & Ports Division of the Ministry was on board the MV Ajang Subuh on Wednesday 07th July 2010 when a trial test run was carried out which proved mechanical works carried out to the vessel was successful.
The MV Ajang Subuh hence proceeded with its scheduled voyage to the northern islands on the evening of 07th July 2010.
Issued by the: Ministry of Transport, Nuku'alofa, 09 July 2010. Tel: (676) 24144