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GFS Apologizes After Kunta Kinteh Ferry Got Stranded With Passengers On Board for Hours

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Stranded Kunta Kinteh Ferry getting tow by a Tug boat

By Buba Gagigo

In a press statement, the Gambia Ferry Service (GFS) acknowledged the challenges faced by the Kunta Kinteh Ferry, which became stranded for several hours with a significant number of passengers and vehicles on board. The GFS expressed regret for any inconvenience caused.

“Challenges at the Banjul-Barra Ferry Crossing points. This Tuesday evening, between the hours of 15.30 and 16.00hours, ferry Kunta Kinteh left Banjul to Barra with a normal load of small vehicles, gele geleh minibuses and mini freezer trucks and passengers. This trip was allowed because of the huge pressure at the terminal with only Kanilai ferry doing minimal service as Kunta Kinteh should have been at dry dock this week,” Gambia Ferry Service said.

The GFS explained that the Kunta Kinteh experienced mechanical issues during its journey and required assistance from the Kanku Jerri tugboat to return to Banjul.

“The ferry Kanilai had to support her to come alongside because of the shallowness of the area, due to the draft restrictions of the tugboat. At no time did Kanilai have any problems during this exercise. Ferry Kunta Kinteh was not overloaded at all,” they said.

Furthermore, the GFS attributed the delay in the scheduled dry docking of the Kunta Kinteh ferry to the lack of available docking space at the Port’s Shipyard.

“According to the Banjul Shipyard Management, the expected earliest docking day is Monday 18th March, 2024. As a result of the delay, the ferry Kunta Kinteh will be on keel cooling maintenance, step deck repair preparations, and cleaning of the entire engine rooms to prepare to receive the new engines when it is finally slipped. The Management of the Gambia Ferry Services extends its sincere apologies to the general travelling public on the inconveniences caused by the ferry technical difficulties.” they concluded.

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