19 April 2020

MV Worship Light sailed from China

A PANAMA-REGISTERED bulk carrier that left Zhangjiagang, China, to Solomon Islands early this month was denied entry into port yesterday for violating our laws.

Solomon Ports collaborated with the Solomon Islands Maritime Safety Administration (SIMSA) to stop MV Worship Light from berthing at Point Cruz yesterday.

“This is because the vessel violated international and domestic maritime regulations,” Solomon Ports said in a statement last night..

MV Worship Light left Shanghai, China, on 1 April 2020 and arrived in the country on the 15th of April 2020.

“On April 15, the vessel entered the port of Honiara and anchored in the harbour area with no authorisation of the Solomon Islands Port Authority and failed to provide pre-arrival information despite request of the Port Authority and in accordance to the Maritime Safety Administration (Ship and Port Security) Regulations 2011,” Solomon Ports said.

It added the following security regulations as per the International Ships and Port Facility security code (ISPS) and PFSP have been violated:

  • Section 5.8.1 (PFSP) “The Port Pilot controls the movement of vessels entering or leaving the port.
  • International Ships and Port Facility security code (ISPS) regulated that ships must report their intentions to enter a port 72 hours before arrival.
  • Any regulated ship that intends to visit the port, must be notified for clearance before entering the port.
  • Section 5.9.1 (PFSP), International ships intending to enter Honiara Port must notify the PFSO 72 hours prior to arrival. Ship profile must be screened by the PFSO to ensure the ship is compliant to ISPS Standards and that is safe for pilot to board.

“With the current state of emergency imposed in the country and the global Covid-19 pandemic, Solomon Ports viewed the ship’s behavior as suspicious and a threat to the country’s security.

“SIMSA has also requested the ship to leave the Solomon Islands waters immediately.

“Solomon Ports strongly urge local shipping agents to ensure ships entering the country’s waters must abide by our maritime laws.”

MV Worship Light’s local shipping agent could not be immediately identified, Saturday.