Transport Ministry accepts TAIC Safety recommendations on Ashika Inquiry for implementation
30 August 2011
The Government of Tonga, through the Ministry of Transport (MoT) has accepted the safety recommendations as put forward by the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) in their final report for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Sinking of the M.V. Princess Ashika.
The objective of the acceptance and implementation is to prevent future maritime accidents. The TAIC safety recommendations state that -
1. Search and rescue
1.1 To build and maintain an up-to-date register of search and rescue air and marine assets capable of being used for search and rescue operations within the southwest Pacific region.
1.2 To explore the possibility of dedicated search and rescue aircraft fitted with SAR equipment and trained crew being made available to conduct search and rescue operations in the New Zealand and Fiji SAR areas. Such aircraft could be multi-purpose to conduct other maritime and land-based activities such as customs and fisheries patrol.
2. Government of Tonga
2.1 To require the Shipping Corporation of Polynesia or any similar entity formed in the future to employ sufficient maritime expertise to govern and manage effectively the day-to-day running of a shipping company and its vessels.
2.2 To introduce and implement a functioning safety management system for any Tonga-based shipping operator and individual ships operated by it, in line with the International Safety Management Code.
2.3 To amend the Shipping Act to require a safety management system that would supplement the current statutory surveys. Such a system will include the ongoing inspection, monitoring and auditing of every registered ship and its operation, in line with the International Safety Management Code. The structure for this has been put in place through the Safety Regulations for Non-Convention Vessels 2002 produced by the Regional Maritime Programme of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. Ultimately, such a safety management system would be specifically tailored to the needs of the Tongan domestic fleet.
2.4 To develop its maritime administration to ensure that Tonga can meet its own and international obligations. This will include the ability to oversee an efficient safety management system, which will require a solid base of surveying expertise to allow for meaningful inspections and audits of vessels and their systems.
2.5 To conduct a review to determine the required key outputs of TMPI. As part of that review, determine whether such a facility is financially and socially necessary for the country. Should it be determined to continue the operation of the school, it should be:
adequately governed and resourced to provide training to the required level, including attracting the appropriate staff properly monitored by the Marine and Ports division, including audits of teaching methods and examination results.
The MoT aims to improve inter-island transport services in terms of safety, reliability and accessibility in alignment with the Tonga Strategic Development Framework, and looks forward to all stakeholders co-operating & supporting the implementation of these safety recommendations.
Issued by the: Ministry of Transport, Nuku'alofa, 2011. Authorized by the CEO for
of Transport, The
Kingdom of Tonga, 24 August 2011.