Kiribati, Ferry, Accident

Kiribati, Ferry

Doomed Kiribati ferry crew drunk, victims died horribly: Official report

Doomed Kiribati ferry crew drunk, victims died horribly: Official report

8.10.2019

Doomed Kiribati ferry crew drunk, victims died horribly: Official report

Crew members of an overloaded Kiribati ferry which sank in the Pacific claiming 95 lives were drunk, leaving passengers to die slow deaths from ...

The report gives the first official account of the loss of the ferry MV Butiraoi, which sank in January last year after setting off from Nonouti island bound for the capital Tarawa.

It details a string of failures that led to the sinking and also gives a glimpse of the horrors endured by victims, who were missing in the vast ocean for eight days before the alarm was raised.

The deaths of 84 passengers and 11 crew was the worst maritime disaster ever in Kiribati, a collection of 33 atolls and reefs scattered over an area the size of the continental United States.

There were only seven survivors, who were found in a small aluminium boat after 10 days adrift.

Ferries are a transport lifeline for its 110,000 population but the report found the Butiraoi, a 17.4m catamaran, should never have set out on its fateful voyage.

The report found widespread use of alcohol by the master and crew during working hours,"giving every drunken crew (member) the feeling of grandeur and power to make decisions alone".

It said there was no leadership from the crew, who had limited survival training.

Read more: CNA

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