Sunday, May 28

GFSC apologises on Kunta Kinteh stock in sea amid loss of life

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On Sunday night, the Kunta Kinteh ferry was reportedly stocked at the Barra Landing Site and spent the night in the sea, leading to the death of one individual Alagie Sarr from Madina Seing Mass, as he was referred to Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital for medical treatment. The situation also delayed the transportation of goods and services.

Speaking to journalists in a press briefing on Monday, Lamin Jawara, the general manager of the GFSC, explained that the Kunta Kinteh ferry was stocked at Barra Landing Site because its rudder propellers became entangled with a fishing net in the sea.

This, he said, prevented the ferry from plying, thus, spent the night at the Barra Landing Site.

According to him, the ferry’s captain realised that the ferry had become entangled with a fishing net, he rushed and removed it (net) from the ferry’s rudder propellers and attempted to ply back to Banjul but was hindered by low tide.

This, he said, forced the ferry to stay at the Barra Landing Site the whole night.

However, GM Jawara was quick to add that the ferry was able to resume services early in the morning.

“The occurrence was a very unfortunate scenario. We apologise and deeply regret the incident. This was beyond our control because at that time the ferry’s captain and his crew were not aware of the ferry entanglement with the fishing net,” he noted.

“Our aim is to ensure effective, safe and quick transportation of goods and services between the two terminals.”

Speaking further, he said the GFSC is working with its partners such Gambia Maritime Administration, Gambia Navy and others to prevent recurrence of similar incidents.

On death of Niumi resident in the ferry

Jawara described the incident as unfortunate and deeply regretted by the GFSC and GPA.

“As we speak there is a team heading to Madina Serign Mass to visit the family of the deceased. Our condolence goes to the family,” he expressed.

We will do our best to prevent reoccurrence of such an event, he said.

The GFSC is subsidiary to the GPA, however, Ousman Jobarteh, managing director of Gambia Port Authority (GPA) who attended the presser described the stock of the ferry as unfortunate.

He said the GPA primary goals are to ensure all the ferries are stabilised to ensure efficient, effective, safe and quick transportation of goods and service at the crossing points.

He said GPA will continue to work harder to provide the necessary resources and equipment to ensure smooth transportation of peoples and goods.

 “We will not relent in our efforts to continue to provide the necessary resources for the ferries, because even with the tariff increment, the revenue that the ferry is generating is not enough to recover their cost.”

“This is why the ferries rely from support of GPA because the cost of fuel and spare parts are taking huge financial commitment.”

He further revealed that the African Development Bank (ADB) has financed a new ferry that would ply between Barra and Banjul.