Passengers are not permitted to sleep under vehicles on board Samoa Shipping Corporation, (S.S.S.) inter-island ferries during sailings as articulated by the Corporations’ Safety Standard Operating Procedure.
Savali reported the clarification is contained in the Internal Inquiry report which probed the circumstances leading up to the death of a passenger who died after a delivery truck drove over his lower body while the deceased was asleep under the truck.
The Corporations Chief Executive Officer, Leiataualetaua Samuel Decca Phineas told the Savali that the crew followed the safe operating procedures to the letter and did not have any role in the unfortunate accident.
“The accident did not happen due to the carelessness of the crew, it was the negligence of the driver and his assistant,” defended Leiataua.
To ensure the safety of passengers, crew members during every sailing for every ferry are mandated to verbally advise passengers of the safety requirements.
They include not sleeping under vehicles, no smoking allowed, and stay clear from restricted areas that would endanger the travelling public from falling overboard or causing injury.
“Safety posters, precautionary reminders, and warnings signs are also posted in selected areas on board and this is complemented by compulsory duties for crew members to verbally advice passengers who are found violating the safety mandates,” added Leiataua.
“In some cases, we have had to delay sailings if passengers do not abide by putting themselves at risk and delays are costly for the Corporation in terms of wages to pay the extra manpower hours.”
Although the Corporations fleet have different designs and specifications, Leiataua maintains that safety of passengers is paramount and he is appealing for public support to appreciate the S.S.C. regulations to ensure the safety of passengers.
Leiataua confirmed that the crew had attended as best they could to passengers in relation to such incidents.
“The Board and Management are now working on strategies to improve safety on board but not looking to increase fares or extra fees.”
In the meantime, the 16-year old defendant behind the wheel has since been charged by police with negligent driving causing death and driving without a license.