By Kebba Camara
The absence of new ferry Kunta Kinteh all these days have sparked speculations as to why the newly acquired boat, which started services barely two months ago, should be out of service.
Many people who spoke to The Standard expressed surprise that the new ferry, which has become the darling of the new republic and the favourite of all travellers could be out of service this soon.
Last night The Standard contacted the PRO of the Gambia Ports Authority Modou Lamin Sanyang who clarified that the ferry has no mechanical problem and was only grounded for inspection after engineers spotted the flashing of a light, the cause of which they could not immediately establish.
“They communicated this to the GPA authorities and we thought it wise to hold on its operations until we know why that light on the ferry is all about,” Sanyang said.
According to Sanyang, the GPA has since contacted the manufacturers who have sent a team of experts currently looking at the cause of the light which is certainly signaling something.
“We did not want to take any chances when it comes to the safety of our customers. When the technical team are ready Kunta Kinteh will start operating again. It is just like when you see a strange light or a signal in a car, it will be wise to find out what that light means,” Sanyand said.
On another reported incident about the Kanilai ferry which eye witnesses claimed stuck in the sea on Tuesday, PRO Sanyang said that too has no problems, but due to the low tide at sea on Tuesday afternoon when it approached Banjul, the boat could not danchor and that’s why it got stranded.
“This was a great concern for the whole ports Authority and even the MD was at the terminal to see what solutions will be applied to make sure the ferry land safely and thank God after about an hour, the whole scenario ended,” he said. He admitted some passengers got so uncomfortable with thirst and tiredness but the GPA staff was on hand to help them refresh with water.