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Passengers Stranded For 10 Hours After Vessel Ramp Mishap

Passengers Stranded For 10 Hours After Vessel Ramp Mishap
Nabouwalu wharf from another vessel.
February 14
10:00 2018

More than 200 passengers along with vehicles were left stranded inside the Interlink vessel  for ten hours on Saturday at the Nabouwalu wharf after its ramp broke.

The Interlink vessel had left Natovi early Saturday and was due to arrive at Nabouwalu at 7am.

Nabouwalu resident Samu Musuvanua said the cables connecting to the ramp got stuck and snapped just as the first lorry hurriedly reversed onto the wharf.

“The incident happened at about 7am when a 12 wheeler truck reversed onto the wharf before the vessel had steadied itself,” Mr Musuvanua said.

“This happened after their third attempt to berth at the wharf; they were doing everything in a rush,” he said.

“The waves were quite rough and big that morning.

“The lorry had already reversed with its tray on the wharf but its front four tyres were still  in the vessel when the vessel jolted – the driver panicked and he quickly reversed out onto the wharf.

“It was then, when the cables snapped and the ramp was hanging.

“The incident happened within seconds, lucky the loaded truck did not fall into the sea.

“The passengers and other trucks were still stuck inside of the vessel.

“The officers tried to lift the ramp but the hydraulic was not working, so they cut off the chain.”

Passengers were stranded inside the vessel until a fibreglass boat brought the passengers to the shore at about 5pm.

Buses were on standby at Nabouwalu to transport the passengers to their destinations.

According to Mr Musuvanua the vessel departed Nabouwalu the same evening with the vehicles still on board.

He confirmed that  the ramp was still underwater at the Nabouwalu wharf.

Interlink Shipping Services Operations Manager Manoj Kumar declined to comment on the matter when contacted yesterday.

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