Drifting Olhão ferry rescued by oyster boat
The ‘Mira Sado’ Olhão to Farol ferry suffered a leak in the engine cooling system, rendering it inoperable. With no power, the ferry ended up drifting away when trying to dock at Farol pier.
There were only six passengers and crew on board at the time and all were unharmed.
Controversy quickly surrounded the incident as the ferry captain failed to radio for help, as he should have done, leaving Farol islanders having to call the Olhão Port captain, Nunes Ferreira, who sent help.
According to SOS Ria Formosa’s Facebook posting, “due to the ship master’s reluctance to carry out normal emergency procedures for these situations, we were obliged to alert the captain of the port of Olhão as to the situation, who immediately sent a rescue craft to the location.”
According to SOS Ria Formosa, the “captain, despite appeals, did not call for aid or request any help, which is absolutely unacceptable for a public transport boat, where human lives could be at risk.”
The drifting boat eventually was rescued by the oyster boat ‘Intrepide’ which, although unable to tow such a large vessel, managed to get it to Deserta island and take on board the ferry passengers.
Captain Ferreira is to look into the incident and confirmed that, after repairs, the ferry returned to Olhão, “We hope all circumstances and responsibilities will be cleared up in a situation that ended in a happy ending, but which could have been much more serious. We demand that this kind of attitude is not repeated, “concluded SOS Ria Formosa.
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