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Fijian ferry reaches port after losing bow ramp during transit

Fijian ferry reaches port after losing bow ramp during transit Image: FMSRCC

An inter-island ferry carrying 121 passengers sustained damage while sailing in rough weather in the waters off Kadavu, Fiji, on Friday, April 19.

Liahona II, a vessel operated by South Island Shipping, began taking on water after heavy waves tore off its bow ramp.

The Fiji Maritime Surveillance Rescue Coordination Centre (FMSRCC) received the distress call sent by the ferry’s crew. It immediately despatched a small team of first responders to board the Fiji Navy patrol boat RFNS Kikau, which then sailed for Liahona II’s reported location.

The unfavourable weather conditions had made it difficult for the FMSRCC to maintain radio contact with the ferry’s captain and, in turn, effectively facilitate the rescue.

Kikau was nonetheless able to link up with the damaged ferry and escort it to Kadavu, where it has since berthed to allow the passengers and crew to disembark.

The Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji said that Liahona II suffered no damage other than the torn-off bow ramp and that the vessel’s passengers and crew were all safe.

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