What should have been a half-hour journey for travelers has turned into an almost six-hour ordeal after a vessel in The Gambia could not anchor at the seaport.
Commuters were stranded on a ferry in the MV Kanilai after it fell short of its destination, causing panic and frustration.
Authorities suggested that low tides in the waters might have to be blamed for Tuesday’s incident that led many to believe that ferry instead had a breakdown.
“There are no mechanical issues with the Kanilai ferry. We believe that the low tides in water caused this. It made it hard for the ferry to anchor,” said Momodou L. Sanyang, the spokesperson for the Gambia Ports Authority.
Passengers said they were later assured by the captain that they were safe, who urged them to maintain calm as engineers figured a way out to have them de-boarded.
Although the country procured a new ferry, most ferries are old, usually overcrowded, and sometimes break down mid-crossing.
A ferry incident in 2014 resulted in the deaths of five of those on board, including a Belgian tourist, while many more were injured, some seriously.