By Tabora Bojang
Pandemonium gripped hundreds of passengers on The Kanilai ferry yesterday when the vessel suffered an engine failure shortly before reaching Barra. After frustrating moments of anxiety, private canoe operators in the fishing village spontaneously came to the rescue of the vessel’s human cargo and passengers could be seen queuing to jump into canoes which ferried them to safety. Others who could, swam to shore. Not having enough capacity, the canoes could not take everyone and the ferry management had to deploy another ferry to transfer the remaining passengers and vehicles to safety in Barra.
The GPA public relations officer, Modou Lamin Sanyang told The Standard the ferry developed an engine trouble shortly before reaching Barra but all the passengers and vehicles were transferred to another ferry or volunteering canoes to safety.
“The Ferry Services Management wishes to reassure its esteemed customers and indeed the travelling public that efforts will not be spared to enhance safer and more reliable service,” he said.