Thandi Ferry issued an official statement after a “technical problem” could possibly have led to a Robben Island ferry partially sinking on Friday afternoon, the Robben Island Museum said.
The 64 passengers and four crew members aboad the ferry, Thandi, had to be evacuated when the nose of the boat started to sink in rough seas, 3km from the Cape Town waterfront.
The statement reads
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. The Madiba 1 responded along with the 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. Esa Yacoob, owner of the vessel, was in continuous contact with the necessary personnel and safety authorities to ensure the safety and well-being of all the passengers and crew.
Managing Director and owner, Esa Yacoob stated, “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”.
We wish to sincerely thank the NSRI, the Madiba 1, the Water Police and Port Control. We also want to thank Robben Island and the V & A Waterfront for their support. We wish to thank our crew who put the safety of the passengers first.