Fiji Navy Inquiry Reveals Critical Failures

The Republic of Fiji Military Forces Board of Inquiry has held the Commanding Officer and his command team responsible for the grounding of Fiji’s patrol boat RFNS Puamau.

Major General Ro Jone Kalouniwai of the CRFMF stated that recommendations from the inquiry include holding the Commanding Officer accountable for the 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.

Maj-Gen Kalouniwai noted that a thorough examination revealed critical deficiencies in the Fiji Navy’s maritime operation procedures and standards, particularly in navigation practices aboard the ship.

The findings of the BOI indicated significant breaches, negligence, and non-adherence to professional and accepted best bridge management practices by the Commanding Officer and his team, especially in hazardous waters near Fulaga Island.

The BOI also highlighted that certain best mariner practices and processes related to the use of navigation equipment for situational awareness and decision-making were neglected by the Commanding Officer and his bridge team.

Maj-Gen Kalouniwai affirmed the RFMF’s commitment to upholding the highest standards of professionalism and safety within the Fiji Navy. He emphasized that implementing the BOI’s recommendations will help prevent similar incidents and ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of maritime operations.

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