Solomon Islands govt corrects opposition claims on Worship Light

The Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC) of the Solomon Islands has issued a clarification, stating that the entry of cargo Worship Light (IMO 9087805) into the country did not breach any Covid-19 measures.

IMN reported the earlier allegations, including questions by the leader of the opposition, in the round-up on May 5th, that the refusal might have been on these grounds and is happy to set the record straight. North P&I’s club member has stated that the vessel was definitely not in breach of quarantine when arriving at the Solomon Islands.

The OPMC confirmed that the Worship Light was fully compliant with protocols relating to Covid-19 entry.

The Leader of Opposition, the Hon Matthew Wale, had called on the government to explain the real situation with the Worship Light.

In response the government said that “The Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet is only a call or email away, so the leader of Official Opposition could have asked to get the correct information before making any statement.”

Wale had claimed that vessel was allowed to break the emergency quarantine requirements, which both the government and the vessel interests have categorically stated was not the case.

With regards to the Standard Operating Procedure, all foreign vessel entering Solomon Islands must comply with the 14-day period immediately before entering the port unless exempted by the Oversight Committee and must also supply a range of information to the Comptroller:

The OPMC said that the issue relating to Worship Light was not Covid-19 related but was a matter under the Solomon Islands Maritime Safety Administration Act 2009. The letter issued by the Director of SIMSA was issued pursuant to Regulation 20 of the Maritime Safety Administration (Ship and Port Security) Regulations 2011 and was not related to the State of Public Emergency in any way, as the OPMC said had been implied.

1994-built, Panama-flagged, 17,428 gt Worship Light is owned by Worship Light Shipping Co Ltd care of manager Feng Sea Shipping Pte Ltd of Singapore. It is entered with North of England Club on behalf of Feng Sea Shipping Pte Ltd.