‘Marine Services Co. Appoints Fiji Agent’

Frances Tuimabualau is assisting marine services market leader Pacific Towing educate its cadets and expand its operations in Fiji.

Papua New Guinean marine services business, Pacific Towing (PacTow) has appointed Frances Tuimabualau as its agent in Fiji. As Melanesia’s largest and most diverse marine services provider, with a 250+ workforce and 20-vessel fleet, PacTow is perfectly positioned to undertake additional projects in Fiji. 

Frances Tuimabualau comes from a long line of seafaring professionals. Her father, the late Ilisoni Tuimabualau, who travelled around the world as a seafarer and for furthering his maritime education, had a distinguished career including being Fiji’s ‘Director for Government Shipping Services’.

Frances commenced work in the banking sector with Colonial National Bank (now BSP). She undertook additional university study prior to accepting a role with Digicel which saw her involved in the company’s national roll out before being quickly promoted. Frances then ran her own business in the public transport sector.

Like her father and many of his forebears, and even her mother and brother, Frances was drawn to the sea for work. In 2022, she joined the Fiji Women in Maritime Association and undertook a role focusing on seafarers’ wellbeing. She has also been involved in World Ocean Day.

In 2023, Frances began assisting PacTow with one of its cadetship programmes. PacTow has a history of sending its cadets to the Pacific Centre for Maritime Studies (previously Fiji Maritime College), including the five cadets from its in-house programme who are spending 2024 there in order to complete their cadetships.

Although Frances’ initial role with PacTow focussed very much on the company’s Fiji-based cadets (e.g., facilitating visas, academic enrolments, accommodation), it has recently expanded to include business development. 

Tuimabualau notes that “many Fijians will remember the container ship ‘Southern Phoenix’, which capsized and sank in Suva Harbour in 2017.” It was PacTow which carried out the wreck removal of this vessel with the assistance of local workers and suppliers. “PacTow has a policy of recruiting locally which means we help drive the development of the communities in which we operate” says Manager, Gerard Kasnari. PacTow’s Solomon Islands workforce is 100 percent local and its 250 plus PNG workforce is 97 percent nationalised.”

PacTow’s core business is harbour towage. However, it has long provided a range of other services in the region including ocean towage, salvage, wreck removal, commercial diving, life rafts (service, sales, leasing), as well as diverse and customised project solutions across multiple industries.


PacTow delivers excellent, reliable, and safe marine services through Melanesia and the broader region. A well-maintained fleet, as well as a dedicated and exceptionally trained team underpin the company’s ongoing expansion and success. PacTow is part of a larger sea and land logistics group wholly owned by Steamships Limited. To learn more about PacTow:  www.pacifictowingmarineservices.com.

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