Passenger Ferry Hits Island, Sinks, Two Dead

11th May 2017 / news

A passenger ferry that was carrying 59 passengers and 22 vehicles was sailing on autopilot in darkness with good visibility while a quartermaster and OOW were on the bridge having a conversation. Just after midnight, a storm with heavy rains and high winds overtook the ferry and severely reduced visibility. Less than 15 minutes later, the storm passed, and the quartermaster and OOW became aware of trees off the starboard bow.

Though the vessel initiated an emergency turn to port, the ferry struck the island and began drifting north where it took on water and began to sink. The crew and passengers were forced to abandon ship. Unfortunately, two people were reported missing after the vessel sunk and have been declared dead.

Investigators determined that the cause of the accident includes, the OOW being engaged with the quartermaster during a rapidly moving squall while having the electronic chart system dimmed and alarms deactivated.

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