Ponant pushes back

PONANT has defended the actions taken by the Captain of its L'Austral ship which became grounded on uncharted rocks in the Snares Islands last year.

PONANT has defended the actions taken by the Captain of its L’Austral ship which became grounded on uncharted rocks in the Snares Islands last year.

The French operator told CW the incident “did not present any risk for the environment nor for the safety of passengers” despite a Wellington District Court in New Zealand finding the cruise line had breached the NZ Maritime Transport Act 1994 last week (CW 04 Oct).

Ponant said an independent expert report examining the stability of the ship after the collision found “it could continue to sail in all security” and that Captain Regis Daumesni was justified in continuing to sail to the port of Bluff.

The cruise line also said the L’Austral avoided the exclusion zone set at 300 metres around the Snares Islands, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.

PICTURES: Snares Islands

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