MV Lycianda Onifa Reef Grounding Tropical Cyclone Daman

Onifa Reef Rotuma
Onifa Reef Rotuma

MV Lycianda Onifa Reef Grounding Tropical Cyclone Daman –  Blue Lagoon Cruises Ltd Figi cruise ship MV Lycianda was returning from Rotuma on December 5, 2007,  she was out in Rotuma about 2115 hours (9:15pm) on her way back to Lautoka, Figi when it encountered Tropical Cyclone Daman and tried to make a run for it, but was swept onto the reef.

On December 7, the cyclone reached its peak intensity with winds of 185 km/h, (115 mph 10-minute sustained) which made Daman a Category 4 cyclone on the Australian Tropical Cyclone Intensity Scale.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Daman affected Fiji and its dependency of Rotuma between December 5 – 9, where it caused about F$500,000 (2007) ($330,000 US$2007) worth of damage.

Lycianda was trying to come out of shelter it had sought in the harbor when strong winds forced the vessel on Onifa reef.

The vessel was blown onto the inner reef inside the harbor at Rotuma at the height of Daman passing over Rotuma. The ship was tossed and unable to resist the winds for the storm.

The ship suffered no damage to its hull, only minor damage to its rudders and propellers. There was no injury to the crew. Only crew was aboard the ship when the incident took place.

The cruise ship was to have picked up passengers when it got caught in the cyclone.

The captain has reported all crew living aboard were well, with no injuries after the storm had passed.

A tug boat is on the way to Rotuma to assist the ship off the reef and will tow the vessel back to Suva for repairs.

Rotuma is a volcanic island of approximately 43 sq. kilometers, located at 12 degrees south latitude and 177 degrees east longitude, approximately 465 kilometers north of Fiji. Only a few thousand people live there.