OWNER of Ocean Marine Albert Wong says MV Sitka was inspected by Tongan marine officials before it sailed to the Solomons.
And he added officials there were satisfied with the condition of the vessel, which Mr Wong facilitated its purchase for the Constituency of Malaita Outer Islands (MOI).
Earlier, local marine authorities say they were not informed of the arrival of MV Sitka, which ran aground on a reef in Fiji two weeks ago, on its way to the Solomons.
Mr Wong explained they did not inform authorities here about the purchase and arrival of the ship because Tonga marine officials have already conducted the inspection.
He said the ship should have come over some three months ago but this was delayed by Tongan marine authorities in order to carry out their inspection.
According to Constituency Development Officer (CDO) of MOI, John Kepoia, the vessel would be renamed MV Luapesi when it arrives in Honiara.
He added the plan is to celebrate the arrival of the ship with a trip to MOI that will be free of charge for passengers.
By AATAI JOHN