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Pacific Sun update

1 AUGUST 2008

Pacific Sun update

Maritime agencies with responsibility for the Pacific Sun are working together to ensure the vessel is thoroughly checked for any safety issues before being allowed to depart.

A number of passengers were injured after the cruise liner was hit by severe weather conditions and suffered a sudden heavy roll around 8pm on Wednesday night (July 30). The vessel, carrying 1732 passengers and 671 crew, was en route to Auckland following an eight day cruise in the South Pacific.

Maritime New Zealand General Manager of Maritime Operations, John Mansell, said while an initial safety inspection by an MNZ safety inspector today had revealed no damage to the vessel’s safety equipment, further inspection of the vessel was ongoing.

MNZ was also liaising with various agencies that had responsibility for the vessel, including its Australian operators P&O, and the United Kingdom-based Marine and Coastguard Agency, which has responsibility for ensuring the UK-registered vessel is compliant with internationally-accepted maritime safety standards. All of the parties involved were cooperating with MNZ, Mr Mansell said.

“Because the vessel has been hit by such heavy weather, causing injuries to a number of passengers, MNZ and the various other agencies which have responsibility for the safety of the ship need to be satisfied that she has been thoroughly checked over in all respects and cleared before being allowed to depart New Zealand. With such a large vessel, this is not something that can be rushed.”

Mr Mansell said the vessel’s master and its operators were bound by international maritime laws, including the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention, which sets international standards for maritime safety.

ENDS

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