Authorities from Marine department have declared MV Chambo, a new vessel from Mozambique owned by Mota Engil which has come to replace the grounded MV Ilala.
The vessel which docked at Nkhata-Bay port at exactly 03:30 in the afternoon on Friday flying a Mozambican flag was previously plying its trade between Khobwe and Matengula in Mozambique.
Assistant surveyor of vessels for Likoma and Nkhata-Bay districts, Chikumbutso Ziyaya disclosed that after thorough assessment by the Marine authorities on the vessel, it has been observed that the 100 passenger capacity vessel is unseaworthy as one of its twin engines is faulty.
“To begin with, as a department, we did not know the coming in of this vessel to replace MV Ilala since what we have gathered is that the vessel used to sail between Khobwe and Mozambique not here in Nkhata-Bay and some areas.
“After we had technically assessed it, we also found that one of its twin engines has a faulty Impeller (part used to cool engine).This then prompted us to quickly advise the vessel’s crew not to depart Nkhata-Bay port till the fault is rectified,” said Ziyaya.
He further indicated that the vessel crew was instructed to withdraw the Mozambican flag as per regulations, an order that has since been complied with.
Coincidentally, Ziyaya said the fault that the vessel has, is similar to the one that was discovered on MV Ilala early this week; hence it is difficult to allow it to depart the port without the fault being rectified.
According to information sourced, the new vessel had already produced a schedule of sailing between Nkhata-Bay and Matengula in Mozambique through Likoma Islands.
It is however unclear as to when the two unseaworthy vessels which remain anchored at the port be towed and have their faults rectified.