Commission of inquiry into grounding of Samoa patrol boat begins

The Commission of Inquiry has begun into circumstances that led to Samoa’s patrol boat ‘Nafanua II’ running aground on a reef in August this year.

Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa said the Commission of Inquiry was waiting for reports from several ministries involved in the Nafanua II incident like the Ministry of Police.

“Now that the reports have been made ready hence, we’ll leave it now to the selected Commission of Inquiry to begin their investigations so we can get complete results on this matter,” Fiame said.

“The Commission of Inquiry is a lawful response from the government to such incidents especially when it involves the assets of the government and to get a distinct understanding of what happened,” she said

According to the Prime Minister, there have been no reports so far from the Government of Australia and its special team who are working on repairing the Nafanua II.

The Australian-funded patrol boat sustained major damage to its hull when it ran aground on the reef off Salelologa Wharf early morning of 5 August 2021.

At the time of the grounding, the Nafanua was transporting police to Savai'i ahead of a political protest by the former prime minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi and his supporters.

The police team was to assist quell tension on the island with a planned convoy of vehicles belonging to Tuilaepa’s Human Rights Protection Party members.

A three-man salvage team from Australia travelled to Samoa to salvage the patrol boat which was then taken to back to Australia for repairs.


Photo file  Caption: Nafanua II


Talaia Mika