Marine safety investigations & reports

Independent investigation into the loss of the Fiji registered vehicular passenger ferry Princess Ashika in Tonga on 5 August 2009

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


The ATSB assisted the New Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) in their investigation into the loss of the vessel. TAIC is the lead agency in this investigation.

The inter-island ferry, the MV Princess Ashika, sank in Tongan waters 5 August 2009. There were many lives tragically lost. Pursuant to the Royal Commission Act (Cap 41) Laws of Tonga, a Royal Commission into the Sinking of the MV Princess Ashika was established.

General details
Date: 05 August 2009   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: Evening (UTC +13)   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Approximately 11 nautical miles from Nomuka, Ha'apai, Tonga    
State: International    
Release date: 29 June 2010   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Vessel details

Vessel details
Vessel Princess Ashika  
Flag Fiji  
IMO 7234002  
Type of operation Vehicular passenger ferry  
Damage to vessel Destroyed  
Departure point Nuku'alofa, Tonga  
Departure time 5 August 2009  
Destination Nomuka, Ha'apai, Tonga  
Last update 03 April 2020