Fred Olsen ferry runs aground in adverse weather conditions in Agaete
The 'Bentago Express', one of Fred Olsen’s ferries that operates between Tenerife and Gran Canaria, ran aground late last night (Thursday) in the Agaete port in the north of Gran Canaria, due to adverse weather an sea conditions, with 59 passengers and 17 crew members on board.
According to Maritime Rescue, the boat ran into trouble during its docking procedure at the port "due to severe weather conditions and southwest winds in the area”, the company said in a statement, and confirmed that the ferry had taken water on board due to damage to the hull, but not a significant amount to cause any danger.
A rescue team was activated by emergency services to attend to passengers and crew, none of whom were injured in the incident, and three fishing boats helped Maritime Rescue secure the stern of the huge ferry, so that diversl from the Delta de Agaete and Fred Olsen could go in to the water and dive with a camera to check the damage to the ship.
The emergency service had to work against the to unload the ship and tow it to the dock before low tide, which was expected at around 2.30am, otherwise the Bentago would be stranded in shallow water. Fortunately two extra Maritime Rescue units came as soon as they could from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to assist and allow it to access its docking place.
The Government of the Canary Islands activated the Territorial Emergency Plan for Civil Protection (PLATECA) in the 'alert' phase to guarantee the mobilization of all the necessary means in the evacuation of the ship's passengers. Fred Olsen confirmed that all passengers and the ship's crew are well and safe on board the ferry, even though they were going to have to spend the night there as sea conditions were too treacherous for a rescue.
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This morning, emergency services concluded the disembarkation of the 59 passengers of the stranded ferry, in an operation carried out by the Salvamar Nunki boat of Maritime Rescue with the support of the Consortium Fire Brigade, and all passengers and crew are dry on land and in perfect condition.