Shipping Chief Executive responds
The Samoa Shipping Corporation (S.S.C.) reserves the right to change the schedule or vessels to load vehicles into with or without notice.
So says Chief Executive Officer, Papali’i Willie Nansen, responding to concerns raised by a member of the public over the treatment he and others received at the Mulifanua wharf recently.
The man, who identified himself as John MP, told of a stream of four-wheelers belonging to the Government being loaded into the ship on the 10am trip to Mulifanua from Savaii ahead of cars that were confirmed to board the ship and had been waiting in line for a long time.
Papali’i confirmed this, but said Members of Parliament and government officials who attended the official opening of the Government project for the Electric Power Corporation’s first hydro power plant for Savaii at Vailoa, Palauli on the said date had to return early.
“There was a change in schedule to the programme to start early as there were important appointments and engagement Government had to attend to hence their early return on the 10:00am trip,” he said.
“Due to this change in schedule, priority was given to Government delegation attended the opening to board the vessel first whilst the rest of the confirmed vehicles booked boarded the vessel after.”
Papali’i said there were about four vehicles offloaded from the 10:00am trip because of the change.
“S.S.C. made arrangements for an additional vessel to put up an extra trip straight after the departure of MV Lady Samoa III to accommodate these vehicles, including all the standby vehicles that were on the wharf at the time to ensure no one was stranded or left behind."
“MV Lady Samoa III departed Salelologa at 10:00am with MV Samoa Express also departing Salelologa at 10:30am with passengers and cargo full of vehicles. Both vessels cleared up and transported all vehicles at the wharf on these trips.”
Papali’i said confirmed bookings are given preference to board the vessel first, but reiterated that when it comes to official Government trips, this is not the case.
“For official government trips especially delegation travelling for the launching and opening of Government Developments and projects in Savai’i, S.S.C. affords them the courtesy in prioritising boarding for their vehicles."
“These are the leaders of our country and we afford them the respect where it’s due.”