HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 587: 2 November 2011

Harbour safety during cyclones
It is important during a cyclone that owners of marine vessels in the harbour are acutely aware of emergency procedures as determined by the Ports Authority and harbour master, prior to the actual event happening. The harbour master for Rarotonga, Esau Tupou, stated that there were many procedures already in place that the harbour master and Ports Authority staff needed to complete in an emergency cyclone situation, including collecting loose materials to stack in empty containers, contacting shipping and transport companies to coordinate the removal of containers and cargo off the wharf, emptying cargo sheds, refuelling ports equipment and moving any equipment offsite, and of course ensuring the safety of Ports Authority staff and their families. Part of the harbour master’s responsibility is to make the decision on when to close the harbour in an emergency and Tupou commented that if the decision to close the harbour was necessary, boat owners would be given three days notice before closure of the harbour to either uplift boats from the water or run for safety out to sea. He emphasised that for smaller vessels the safer option during a cyclone was to uplift them from the harbour. However for larger vessels (such as shipping and cargo vessels) it would be better to run to sea. Once the harbour is closed no vessels are able to come or go from the harbour. For owners of smaller vessels it is important to prepare boats ahead of an emergency. Tupou said vessel owners should check they have all the correct safety equipment on board. He commented that the three necessities on board during a cyclone are to have ample fuel, water and food, and that it was vital to ensure all communication devices are working. Contact the Ports Authority for any further information on any harbour emergency procedures. -Ngariki Ngatae

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

Copyright 2006 Cook Islands Herald online . All rights reserved.