(Additional reporting by Fred Kai)
Social media and WhatsApp users in Kenya have been widely sharing a video clip showing a heart-in-mouth moment, when a passenger ferry and a ship at Likoni channel nearly collided while in transit.
Kenya Ferry Services says the incident happened on August 3, 2019, and not “very recently”.
The footage recorded using a mobile phone by a passenger, who was aboard a different ferry, shows a cargo ship approaching a spot in the sea, where a ferry which was moving from one end of the channel to the other had reached.
The two vessels, however, manage to continue with their journeys without a side collision happening, much to the relief of passengers aboard the ferry in which the video was recorded from.
And now, the Kenya Ferry Services says there was no way those two vessels were going to collide.
“During the incident, the vessels were in communication. Our ferries are highly maneuverable and the coxswains are highly trained and qualified. There is no cause for alarm,” said the Kenya Ferry in a Wednesday (August 21) statement whose undersigned is the agency’s managing director.
“It is important to note that all over the world, vessels are guided by the rule of the road where every mariner has a duty to take all the necessary actions in avoiding collisions at all costs.”
“A meeting was held at the Mombasa County Commissioner’s office on the same, where it was agreed that in future, vessels entering and leaving Kilindini Harbour should be as much as possible be rescheduled to ferry off peak time,” said the Kenya Ferry boss.
-Recent collisions from other parts of the world-
Vessels colliding while in transit is a rare, but not impossible phenomenon.
On April 21, 2019, the Neopanamax container ship COSCO England collided with a second vessel while approaching the dock at Westports Malaysia, a large container facility at Port Klang.
The England required repairs, according to container carrier OOCL.
According to Westports, the vessels collided while inbound in the port’s South Channel.
After the incident, the ships both continued safely to their respective berths to commence cargo operations and undergo an inspection.
In October 2018, two cargo ships collided in the Mediterranean Sea near the island of Corsica, causing an oil spill.
The Ulysse, operated by the Tunisian operator CTN, ran into the Cyprus-based CLS Virgina while it was anchored about 30 kilometers off the northern tip of the island.
No one was injured but “the collision caused considerable damage, with an opening several meters long in the CLS Virginia’s hull”.
The Tunisian ship “was maybe going too fast compared to its ability to react,” the source told AFP.