Princess Ashika sinks

Princess Ashika sinks

Thursday 06/08/2009
One of Fiji's iconic inter-island vessels, the MV Princess Ashika has sunk off the coast of Nuku'alofa in Tonga with 75 passengers onboard.

Radio New Zealand reports that New Zealand's Rescue Coordination Center has launched a major search operation after receiving a mayday call from the Princess Ashika just before 11pm last night.

Radio New Zealand reports that a few minutes later, the center received a distress beacon alert from the vessel which was heading from Nuku'alofa to Ha'afeva in the Nomuka island group.

The ferry carrying 45 passengers and 30 crew was reported to have sunk about 86 kilometers from Nuku'alofa.

Early reports from the first rescuers on the scene indicate at least 40 people had been rescued from liferafts but the number of fatalities was unknown as many were still unaccounted for.

Maritime radio relays from New Zealand and Tonga were continuing to ask for assistance from any vessels in the area.

The Princess Ashika, which was once owned by local company Patterson Brothers shipping, was sold to Tonga.

Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
Fijiana Drua historic win in Super W
The historic Super W win by the Rooster Chicken sponsored Fijiana Drua sets the platform for the Fijiana 15s side as they will play in the Womenโ€™s ...
32 days ago

Revised 2021-2022 National Budget passed in parliament
VAT to be zero rated for 21 items from 1st April 2022 and current 20 cents fuel tax to be removed - AG
64 days ago

Revised Budget consultations
Budget consultations held by the Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.  Mon 28th Feb Tue 08th Mar Wed ...
74 days ago
London 7s: Vakurunabili scores two tries as Fiji beats England 36-10 to book cup semi final spot with New Zealand
Josua Vakurunabili was too strong for the England defence as he scored two tries to help the Fiji Airways Menโ€™s national 7s team beat England 36-10 ...
2 hours ago
China's Minister for Foreign Affairs meets PIFโ€™s Secretary General Henry Puna
The State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Peopleโ€™s Republic of China Wang Yi met with the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands ...
6 hours ago

FJFW gives opportunity to musicians and dancers to woo audience during show
Rako Pasefika was the crowd favourite during the finale of the 15th Fiji Fashion Week show as more than 20 singers and dancers got the opportunity to ...
6 hours ago

Two men armed with cane knives rob shop in Savusavu
The search is underway for two men who stormed a neighbourhood shop at Buca Settlement near the Savusavu Airport on Thursday night. Those men were ...
7 hours ago

Traditional leaders of Ovalau launch an island-scale plan to manage resources sustainably
All 25 villages of Ovalau including Levuka Town have committed to managing their terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems ...
11 hours ago

1,200 deaths due to tobacco use each year in Fiji
Each year, Fiji records more than 1,200 deaths due to tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke. That's according to Assistant Minister for ...
12 hours ago