By Samisoni Pareti
Dramatic footage is out on social media in Fiji today over a stricken inter-island ferry that lost its front ramp in rough waters south of the capital, Suva.
The roll-on, roll-off ferry called the Liahona 2 left Suva last night bound for the island of Kadavu, Fiji’s southern most island, usually an overnight sail away.
But halfway through the journey, the ferry lost its front ramp, the one that opens up at the bow to let off or take in passengers and cargo, and passengers started posting images on social media.
“SOS, plis if any1 could contact relevant authorities, on board Leona 2, enroute to Kadavu, front ramp completely broken, water filling up the boat,” read a Facebook status from a passenger on board.
With it, he posted two images one of which was a short video clip showing waves entering the ship through the opened bow.
The man is reportedly travelling to Kadavu with his three other siblings to spend the long Easter weekend with their families.
His son now said that he could not contact his father as his mobile phone must have lost battery power.
Through its official twitter handle, the Fiji Maritime Surveillance and Rescue Coordination Centre (FMSRCC) in Suva says it has been activated in light of the stricken ferry.
“RFNF Kikau deployed earlier today with a quick response team from @VFRfiji to monitor the MV Liahona II that has lost its ramp but is maintaining a slow & steady course for Kadavu. An aircraft was also overhead. The RCC continues to monitor the vessel,” FMSRCC said in its latest tweet.
IB Online believes a resort in Kadavu Kokomo deployed its helicopter to help the Fiji Navy locate the stricken boat.
All passengers and crew are safe.