Shipping vessel grounded at Buka passage

The National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) reports that a ship was grounded at Buka passage early today.

In a statement it said the ship MV Julian was making its way into port when the incident occurred.

The container ship used its own engine to free itself on the reef and went alongside Buka wharf.

NMSA’s General Manager/CEO, Paul Unas said NMSA would carry out an investigation to establish the cause of the incident and appropriate actions would be taken after the investigations.

He said NMSA is mandated to conduct investigation on all incidents that happen at sea that are caused by ships.

The ship has now been safely maneuvered into Buka wharf and awaiting investigations and surveys to ensure it is seaworthy to continue its voyage.

From social media pictures the vessel missed berthing at the wharf by more than 100 metres and went to a shallow area further west from the wharf towards Sohano Island.

Huge vessels like MV Julian usually voyage in from the east, berth, offload and unload and then travel out the same easterly direction again.

The currents on Buka passage which separates Buka Island from the Bougainville mainland is reported to be one of the fastest in the world and recently there were discussions to generate electricity using the current at Buka passage.

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