By Netani Rika
RESCUERS worked on choppy seas throughout the night to move passengers to safety from a ferry which ran aground on a reef off Tailevu in Fiji early yesterday.
More than 120 passengers on the Spirit of Altruism were moved by small craft to the Spirit of Harmony in an operation which ran from 4pm to midnight.
The Altruism ran aground on Cakau Davui at 9.26am on Monday after losing power while travelling from Natovi Jetty to Nabouwalu on Vanua Levu.
Passengers were immediately issued life jackets and took up emergency positions under the directions of the crew.
Boat crews from the Takalana Resort and Nataleira Village joined the rescue effort at 4pm and helped Patterson Brothers Limited – owners of the ship – staff to take passengers off the Altruism.
Women and children were moved first while it was still light and most of the men and crew were transferred under darkness. Light was provided by spotlights from the ships.
Takalana Resort’s Jay Bau said his staff were glad to be in a position to offer help.