Ferry Sinks In Gulf

Pompeyfan
30th March 2006, 22:25
A ferry carrying up to 150 people has sunk in the Gulf off the coast of Bahrain. David

Pompeyfan
30th March 2006, 22:29
The ship was thought to be on an evening cruise lasting several hours. It overturned less than a mile off the coast. Divers and helicopters are heading to the site a US Naval spokesman said. Ambulances were also reported to be rushing to Muharraq port. Reports say there are some casualties. David

benjidog
30th March 2006, 23:29
At least 40 people have died after a passenger ferry sunk off the coast of Bahrain in the Gulf, officials and witnesses have said.

More than 50 people have been rescued from the ferry that had up to 150 people on board, including foreign tourists, they said. The incident happened late on Thursday as the vessel was on a short tour of the Gulf. A rescue operation is under way, involving Bahrain's coastguard boats. US helicopters, divers and small naval craft were on their way to the scene to help with rescue operations.

'No distress signal'

The ferry capsized at about 2145 local time (1845 GMT), near one of the bridges linking the capital Manama with al-Muharraq island, Bahrain's coastguard chief Yussef al-Ghatim told AFP news agency.

Forty-four bodies had been recovered from the site of the incident, Bahrain's Interior Minister Sheik Rashid bin Abdulla al-Khalifa told local television. He said 52 people had been rescued. Eyewitnesses said they had seen at least 40 bodies brought ashore, according to Reuters news agency.

The incident happened in shallow waters, Bahrain's radar operator Salman Turkey told the BBC. Mr Turkey said the vessel apparently sent no distress signal. Ambulances were heard rushing to the port from which the vessel had set off

Brian

Vernal
31st March 2006, 05:14
Is it actually a Ferry or a small tour boat,from what I have read so far it left some sort of Marina it sure is a tragedy

Pompeyfan
31st March 2006, 08:42
50 people have died according to the BBC Ceefax. Headlines is Boat Disater, then they call it a cruise ship, then a pleasure boat, and then a two deck ship. So exactly what type of vessel it was is anybodies guess. But it would seem it was a small pleasure craft. What is clear however is whatever type of craft it was, the vessel was overcrowded and seemingly another avoidable tragedy just waiting to happen. Some people chose to leave the vessel before she left. 63 people were rescued from the wreckage. David

Pompeyfan
31st March 2006, 09:17
BBC News 24 has just said that the vessel was a typical two deck Arab Dhow. 57 are dead including 13 Britons. These dhows are tall, and it seems that the top deck was overcrowded, and the captain did not want to sail, but was under pressure to sail according to reports. David

Pompeyfan
31st March 2006, 14:41
The trip was laid on by a South African construction company to mark the completion of the Bahrain World Trade Centre. The company, Murray & Roberts, said four of its staff had been confirmed dead and six remained unaccounted for. 137 was on board. David

Pompeyfan
31st March 2006, 18:18
The Dhow's owners, quoted by Al Arabiya television, reported that the traditional wooden vessel may have been overloaded, and saying it was not their decision to sail but that of the tourist company running the trip, and that the captain had been reluctant to sail with so many people on board. The dhow is reported as being licensed to carry 100, but had 137 on board. It is also reported that the corporate party on board were gathered on one side. An onlooker, 100 metres away on his own boat saw the dhow capsize. He said the sea was calm, and there were no heavy winds or waves he told Arabiya. He said that the boat overturned very quickly as it turned left. It just overturned on one side in seconds. Most who died were inside the enclosed restaurant. Those on the top deck found it easier to survive because they jumped off and waited for rescue.

I have always been concerned about tall vessels. These tall cruise ships list like mad when they turn. They are far bigger of course, but the Egyptian ferry was also very tall. If these vessels are overloaded, and passengers on one side, especially in bad weather, it must have some affect on the stability of the vessel. These two accidents has increased my concern regarding the height of a vessel in the conditions both these vessels found themselves in. I would be interested in Fred's views on their design.

I am surprised that other members have not made comment on this tragedy. David

benjidog
31st March 2006, 23:05
It took the UK TV stations some time to put this near the top of the news although it was on page one of the BBC website. Guess it wasn't in Europe and they only got interested when it became clear there were Brits on board.

It will make me think at least twice about taking trips when on holiday - especially if I ever go to any of these Middle East countries. Unless you know better you might assume that the same level of safety checks etc. apply as at home. And we still have accidents here for goodness sake!

Looking at a picture of a similar vessel tonight it seemed too tall for its overall size to my untrained eye. I will also be interested in the views of our expert members.

And what is all that about the captain sailing because he was told to although he didn't think it was safe? Who is in charge for goodness sake?

Brian

Frank P
1st April 2006, 00:24
Brian, I worked in Saudi Arabia of and on for 7 years, and when you work for the Arabs they expect you to do what they say regardless of regulations. If the captain is an Indian or Filippino he would know that if he disobeyed the owners, he would be sacked and sent home, and they can't afford that.
The answer to your question "who's in charge", in the Middle East the owners are in charge.

Frank

Pompeyfan
1st April 2006, 08:43
Interesting info Frank P. The owners of the dhow are reported to blame overcrowding for the disaster, and the tour company operating the vessel. The captain is also said to be not properly qualified, although he is quoted as not wanting to sail. If Frank P is right, it seems the captain had no choice, and was in a no win situation whatever his qualifications. Based on what Frank said, it seems a classic case of pass the buck time out there blaming each other. And will an official enquiry be any clearer due to the circumstances Frank describes?!. David

dom
1st April 2006, 09:01
is it basic seamanship,high freeboard, low draught,badly stowed cargo,too many people on the top deck.happens all the time,howmany reports over the years have we read of this type of accedent.

fred henderson
1st April 2006, 13:21
The Dhow's owners, quoted by Al Arabiya television, reported that the traditional wooden vessel may have been overloaded, and saying it was not their decision to sail but that of the tourist company running the trip, and that the captain had been reluctant to sail with so many people on board. The dhow is reported as being licensed to carry 100, but had 137 on board. It is also reported that the corporate party on board were gathered on one side. An onlooker, 100 metres away on his own boat saw the dhow capsize. He said the sea was calm, and there were no heavy winds or waves he told Arabiya. He said that the boat overturned very quickly as it turned left. It just overturned on one side in seconds. Most who died were inside the enclosed restaurant. Those on the top deck found it easier to survive because they jumped off and waited for rescue.

I have always been concerned about tall vessels. These tall cruise ships list like mad when they turn. They are far bigger of course, but the Egyptian ferry was also very tall. If these vessels are overloaded, and passengers on one side, especially in bad weather, it must have some affect on the stability of the vessel. These two accidents has increased my concern regarding the height of a vessel in the conditions both these vessels found themselves in. I would be interested in Fred's views on their design.

I am surprised that other members have not made comment on this tragedy. David

Having seen a photograph of the boat, I doubt if there was a designer for this death trap. She is not a ferry, but is a standard wooden dhow, with a huge, double height, shanty-town, wooden deckhouse added. The lower deckhouse has tall, unbreakable glass windows and most of the dead were trapped in this area. The upper deckhouse has open sides and a solid roof. I would not have boarded her if I was the only passenger, let alone as one of a 137 on a boat that was licenced for 100. Who issued the license and how much was the bribe.
A survivor stated that most of the passengers were in the lower deckhouse. He went up to the upper deck for a smoke (A life saved by a cigarette!) The boat heeled alarmingly as it turned on leaving the marina, but it righted itself. They then hit the wake of a passing ship and the boat instantly capsized.

Fred

wully farquhar
1st April 2006, 13:46
It has said on one report that i heard that it happened in shallow water,well that does'nt surprise me after had a look at one picture i saw that the thing would not float in any water less than three or four foot.
Wully.

Pompeyfan
1st April 2006, 16:29
Thanks for that Fred, wise words as always. Unfortunately this death trap as you described it was used as a ferry or whatever you like to call it whether an evening cruise or whatever else these dhows are used for. Not using them for anything would seem the best option?!. And yes, it seems that going up on deck for a fag was certainly a life saver on this occasion for that person?!!. David

vchiu
3rd April 2006, 12:37
This was the case for the Al Salam Boccacio which went down with heavy loss of life.

The picture shows the addition of three decks, greatly upsetting the initial balance of the ship. I can't understand how can such a ship get any passenger certification as it is close to unseaworthiness.

The picture was taken from the Internet and I don' know the source so pls do not copy it. it was just attached for reference purpose

fred henderson
3rd April 2006, 14:03
The latest media info is that the dhow had recently been converted and was only licensed for use by 100 as a stationary floating restaurant, with a maximum of 40 on the upper deck. An application had been lodged for her use on dinner voyages, but had not been approved.
About a dozen passengers refused to sail.
The local attitude before any situation like this tends to be that everything will be OK if it is within the will of god. Inshallah. Regulations are to be ignored as they could interfere with the will of god. In the same way, a senior local naval officer told me that insurance was evil, as it was taking financial advantage of god's will.
Of course the subsequent blame for the accident rests with the expatriates. If they had not come to the Gulf, the accident would not have happened.

Fred