Kiribati’s Capsized Ferry Which Killed 95 People Had Drunken Crew, Inquiry Report Reveals

MV Butiraoi Was Traveling from Nonouti to Tarawa

Kiribati’s Capsized Ferry Which Killed 95 People Had Drunken Crew, Inquiry Report Reveals
Kiribati Ferry Accident

An inquiry into a tragic ferry accident that left 95 people dead off the Pacific nation of Kiribati last year January 18, has revealed that the crew was intoxicated.

MV Butiraoi was reportedly carrying 105 people on a routine two-day trip from Nonouti island to Tarawa when it sank, killing ninety-five people on board.

An alarm was raised eight days and the authorities managed to rescue five passengers and two crew.

The 57ft ferry is reported to have embarked on the 160-mile journey across the Pacific waters without notifying the authorities. The crew also failed to issue a distress signal when the ferry began to capsize.

Teams from the US, New Zealand and Australia were dispatched on a search and rescue mission of the vessel whose radio beacon was either missing or deactivated.

Seven survivors were found on board the ferry’s aluminum boat.

An investigation conducted by the Kiribati government found that the ferry was not licensed to transport passengers at sea. The vessel was also carrying thirty tonnes of cargo.

The boat also lacked enough life jackets and one of the two available life-rafts had a puncture.

The vessel’s master is alleged to have ignored water warnings while most of the crew were intoxicated at the time of the incident.

The report also made several safety recommendations.

Wrongful death and personal injury attorney Arin Khodaverdian, President and Managing Partner of Alpine Law Group, urges accidents victims and their families to immediately seek legal assistance. “Those who are affected by tragedy have rights, but they must act quickly in order to preserve those rights to the full extent of the law. Often, swift action by an experienced attorney is imperative in order to preserve evidence, interview witnesses and immediately begin pursuing any and all responsible parties.”

While Mr. Khodaverdian does not represent any of the parties involved in this incident, he has recovered over $100 million for thousands of injury victims and their families. “In one case, we were able to recover a 7-figure settlement within 11 business days of being hired by the family of a victim killed by a negligent driver. While this result is atypical and does not predict future outcomes, justice in this case help bring about closure and a swift sense of justice for the family.”

Mr. Khodaverdian, a contributor to this site, is available for free consultations 24/7 by calling 800-984-4123.