Investigation into sinking of MV Rosalie underway

The Office of the Maritime Regulator is investigating the sinking of MV Rosalie early Sunday morning, in ocean waters near Ambae.

The Maritime Regulator, Hickson Siba, says his office will not release details of the incident until an investigation is complete.

“I want to advise the public that this incident is under investigation,” he said.

He says an officer from the Maritime Regulator is now conducting interviews as part of the investigation.

Mr Siba says when all information is collected and is confirmed as accurate, the office will reveal the cause of the incident.

The Commander for Vanuatu’s Police Maritime Wing, Collin Kalwatman, says the RVS Tukuro was at the Lolowai anchorage on Ambae when he got a call to go and rescue the MV Rosalie crew.

RVS Tukoro is a Pacific Islands Forum patrol boat that performs fishery protection, search and rescue and sovereignty patrols for Vanuatu.

“We are lucky the RVS Tukoro was anchored at Ambae at that time and was able to quickly get to the sinking vessel and help rescue the passengers and crew,” he said.

Mr Kalwatman says the MV Rosalie was leaving Lolowai on Ambae and was at the Devils Rock area when it sank.

There were 12 people on the ship at the time, including two babies.

Mr Kalwatman says those passengers floated on rafts in the sea for two hours before they were rescued. He says all passengers and crew were safely rescued when the RVS Tukoro attended the incident.

He says crew and passengers were cared for by medical officers from East Ambae.

Mr Kalwatman says it is not yet known why the ship sank.

The MV Rosalie was on a journey from Pentecost to Ambae and Santo, when it sank after departing Ambae for Santo.

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