THE master of MV Taimareho 1 who was accused of being responsible for the deaths of the 27 passengers who were swept over board during the sea tragedy in 2020 will be facing trial in August and September this year.
High Court Judge, Ronald Bei Talasasa, yesterday set down August 7 to 11, August 28 to September 8 and September 25 to 29.
Michael Roy Galo, who was alleged to be the shipmaster at the time of offence, is facing 27 counts of manslaughter.
The tragedy struck in the early hours of 3 April 2020 between Guadalcanal and Malaita.
The prosecution alleged that Galo set out with the ship despite the bad weather.
In March 2020, the government encouraged the return of people back to the provinces amidst fears of the COVID-19 pandemic which saw a huge number of people in Honiara leave for the provinces.
On the night of 2 April 2020, MV Taimareho 1 left Honiara with 738 passengers, in spite of warnings from the Maritime advising vessels not to travel to provinces due to Cyclone Harold.
On its voyage to Are-are in Malaita, huge waves struck the ship during the night and swept 27 people overboard.
The ship continued on its voyage and arrived at Su’u Harbour on the morning of 3 April 2020.
A head count was conducted and 27 passengers were established to be missing and most of them were high school students.
Only six bodies were recovered.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN
Solomon Star, Honiara