On the early hours of Friday April 3rd, 2020 twenty-seven passengers were swept off MV Taimareho as it encountered rough seas caused by Cyclone Harold. All perished at sea with only some of the bodies recovered.
The ill-fated journey was a charter organised by their local MP as part of Covid-19 contingency plans, which saw people evacuated back to their home villages.
Eight months on MV Taimareho will resume its shipping service staring next week. Chairman of the West Are’are Constituency (WAC) Community Company, Dr William Parairato, told Solomon Times Online the vessel undertook its first trip to Auki yesterday and will be recommissioned today, effectively putting it back into active service.
“There will be two different recommissioning ceremony that we plan to conduct, the first one was already done here in Honiara on Tuesday 15th December and the other one we will take place at 3pm in Auki on Friday 18th,” Dr Parairato said.
He says the recommissioning program in Auki will include a prayer service with various denominations in and around Auki, with the vessel returning to Honiara on Saturday morning.
He says they are still working with the families of those that tragically lost their lives during the ill-fated journey on April 3rd, 2020, and says they are hopeful of a positive outcome.
The Board of Marine inquiry into the fatal incident completed its finding on 3rd May 2020. The official report was submitted to the Minister of Infrastructure Development in early October 2020. Those familiar with report says it looked specifically at the maritime safety aspects of the tragedy.