Emergency teams commended for rescue of crew, passengers from ferry
Western Cape minister of economic opportunities Alan Winde has commended those involved in the rescue of the passengers and crew of the Robben Island ferry which started taking on water on Friday afternoon.
“The crew of the Thandi immediately radioed for assistance‚ and there was a swift response from key rescue teams. The NSRI was on scene‚ once again delivering a world-class service. The NSRI emergency team evacuated passengers to the Madiba 1 vessel‚ which also speedily heeded the distress call.
“I am thankful that none of the passengers or crew were injured during this incident‚” Winde said. He added that tourism was one of the province’s biggest economic drivers‚ sustaining more than 200‚000 jobs.
“We offer visitors a range of unique and diverse experiences. This is why international spend has grown by R4-billion in three years. Central to our commitment to service excellence is being able to respond appropriately when things go wrong.
“We know our Cape of Storms can be unpredictable. That is why it is critical that we have the necessary risk response plans in place. Because of their own preparedness‚ the skipper and crew were able to act swiftly and professionally‚” said Winde.
The owner of the Thandi‚ Esa Yacoob‚ said that on Friday just after 2pm‚ weather conditions had changed drastically with strong winds occurring at Fairway Buoy and Robben Island. The Thandi Ferry started taking in water‚ at which stage the skipper immediately radioed Port Control.
The crew effected the safety and evacuation procedures‚ with all passengers and crew members correctly fitted with life jackets and directed to the evacuation station. The life rafts were deployed and secured to the vessel‚ he said.
The Madiba 1 responded along with the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI).
“The NSRI performed an exemplary evacuation of all passengers and crew to the Madiba 1 vessel.
“The safety and well-being of our passengers is always our primary concern. All passengers and crew on board the Thandi were immediately taken to safety‚ where they were provided with blankets and something warm to drink‚” Yacoob said.
He added that he had been in continuous contact with the necessary personnel and safety authorities to ensure the safety and well-being of all the passengers and crew.
“Our priority is always to ensure that our passengers have a safe and enjoyable experience‚ as has been the case for the past 22 years. We were concerned about the well-being of our passengers who went through this experience and so ensured that all passengers received medical attention.”