The Fiji navy patrol vessel RFNS Kiro grounded at Cakauyawa Reef on 6 nautical miles off Makuluva Island, Suva. The accident happened in bad weather and poor visibility, after the ship suffered blackout and was thrown by the waves over the reef. The vessel started getting water ingress but remained afloat and hardly stuck. There is no immediate danger for the crew on board,. but navy is ready to evacuated it in any time. The salvage operation will be considered after weather permits. Currently there is no information for water pollution, but the navy patrol vessel RFNS Kiro is breached and on board there are several tons of fuel. Fortunately during the accident there were no injured people from the crew.
Board of Inquiry would be set up to determine the cause of grounding.
“But it’s shameful news for the Navy because hardly in any navy that (a) ship has run aground”, said the Defence Minister, Timoci Natuva. “Right at the moment I don’t have the details because it has to go through an investigation board of inquiry and the outcome of what happened and then there would maybe a court-martial”, added he.
The navy patrol vessel RFNS Kiro is Redwing-class minesweeper, which was provided to the Fiji Navy by the Australian Defense Force in 1995. The vessel has overall length of 44.00 m, moulded beam of 8.00 m and maximum draft of 3.00 m. The displacement of the ship is 340 tons and the armament is 2×20 mm gun mounts.
Video from the accident: