The Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD) is investigating the circumstances which resulted in the passenger and vehicle ferry, the MV SABANTO running aground on to Wakenaam Island during the wee hours of Monday, November 17, 2014.
Scores of passengers were trapped on the vessel following the mishap which occurred at around 12:35 on Monday morning as the vessel was enroute to Supenaam with passengers and crew. The Transport and Harbours Department has reported that there no injuries.
Passengers disembarked at firstlight by water taxis which responded to the vessel’s distress.
“Assessments by mariners, marine surveyors and engineers are currently underway to initially determine damage to the vessel and the best method of safely taking it off”, a statement from the T&HD said.
Efforts will be made to take off – by dumb barge – the three trucks and seven cars still onboard the stranded ferry.
The T&HD said favourable tides which will help a refloating operation by means of tugs are anticipated at the upcoming week-end.
Traffic movement will be maintained at normal levels by a doubling up of the runs of the MV KANAWAN and MV MALALI.
Persons who were on board the ferry said it appeared as though the Captain lost control of the large vessel while navigating a turn. It ran through some bushes and onto land on the Wakenaam island.
Filed: 17th November 2014
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