RFMF Report Cites Negligence in RFNS Puamau Incident

The Commanding Officer of the RFNS Puamau is to held accountable for the grounding of the RFNS Puamau, for neglecting processes which led to the incident on Boto Reef on Fulaga, Lau.

This was contained in a report compiled by a Board of Inquiry set up by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.

The BOI stated there had been significant breaches, negligence and non adherence in the application of professional and accepted navigation practices and mariner skills.

“Significant breaches, negligence, non adherence in the application of professional and accepted navigation practices and mariner skills. The BOI further highlighted non compliance to accepted best bridge management processes by the Commanding Officer and his command team in the application of safety measures under such environmental conditions when in confined and hazardous waters close to Fulaga island.”

Further the report noted that there was insufficient information and resources available to the personnel on the RFNS Puamau.

“Holding the Commanding Officer accountable for the ship’s grounding, ensuring comprehensive patrol briefings and navigational planning, implementing clear SSD procedures, providing all seaman officers with navigation books, enhancing situational awareness for commanding officers, and reviewing bridge procedures during entry into confined waters.”

“Further BOI highlighted that certain best mariner practices and processes associated with use of navigation equipment for situational awareness and decisions made was neglected by the Commanding Officer and his bridge team.”

The newly commissioned RFNS Puamau ran aground in June while out conducting surveillance work in Lau. She has since been salvaged from the reef and is now at Ogea island also in Lau, awaiting further work.

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