Ministry can assist vessel

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YWAM Koha Managing director Marty Emmett stands beside their ship at Lautoka wharf. Picture:

Health Minister Ratu Atonio Lalabalavu says his ministry is willing to offer assistance to the medical aid ship YWAM Koha which is stranded in Fiji.

Members of YWAM New Zealand are raising funds to fix the ship which is docked at the Lautoka Wharf following a mechanical failure on its tail shaft. Over the years, the ship has provided healthcare to some of Fiji’s maritime communities, serving more than 3900 people.

Ratu Atonio said they were unaware the ship was facing difficulties but added the ministry was willing to help if asked to.

“If they ask for help we’ll see what we can do, but Government has to approve,” Ratu Atonio said.

In an earlier interview with this newspaper YWAM Ships Aoteroa Ltd managing director, Marty Emmet said they had not asked for assistance from the Ministry of Health but would appreciate help from Government.

Mr Emmet said they had collected 96 per cent of the $100,000 needed to fully fix the mechanical problem.

He added the ship was scheduled to leave Fiji at the end of this month.