The Thandi Ferry and Robben Island

On Friday, 15 September 2017 just after 14:00. With 60 plus passengers on board, the Thandi Ferry to Robben Island started taking in water.

ferry to Robben Island
Source: Google Earth

Press Release from owners of the Tandi

“On Friday, 15 September 2017 just after 14:00, weather conditions changed drastically with strong winds occurring at Fairway Buoy and Robben Island. The Thandi Ferry started taking in water, at which stage the Skipper immediately radioed Port Control.

The crew effected the safety and evacuation procedures, with all passengers and crew members correctly fitted with life jackets and directed to the evacuation station. The life rafts were deployed and secured to the vessel. The Madiba 1 responded along with the NSRI. The NSRI performed an exemplary evacuation of all passengers and crew to the Madiba 1 vessel.

The safety and well-being of our passengers is always our primary concern. All passengers and crew on board the Thandi were immediately taken to safety, where they were provided with blankets and something warm to drink. Esa Yacoob, owner of the vessel, was in continuous contact with the necessary personnel and safety authorities to ensure the safety and well-being of all the passengers and crew.

Managing Director and owner, Esa Yacoob stated, “Our priority is always to ensure that our passengers have a safe and enjoyable experience, as has been the case for the past 22 years. We were concerned about the well-being of our passengers who went through this experience and so ensured that all passengers received medical attention”.

We wish to sincerely thank the NSRI, the Madiba 1, the Water Police and Port Control. We also want to thank Robben Island and the V & A Waterfront for their support. We wish to thank our crew who put the safety of the passengers first.”

Statement by Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities on the Robben Island ferry incident

Minister Winde’s full statement below:

“I would like to commend all those involved for their management of this incident.

The crew of the Thandi immediately radioed for assistance, and there was a swift response from key rescue teams. The NSRI was on scene, once again delivering a world-class service. The NSRI emergency team evacuated passengers to the Madiba 1 vessel, which also speedily heeded the distress call.

I am thankful that none of the passengers or crew were injured during this incident.

Tourism is one of our biggest economic drivers, sustaining more than 200 000 jobs in our province. We offer visitors a range of unique and diverse experiences. This is why international spend has grown by R4 billion in three years. Central to our commitment to service excellence is being able to respond appropriately when things go wrong.

We know our Cape of Storms can be unpredictable. That is why it is critical that we have the necessary risk response plans in place. Because of their own preparedness, the skipper and crew were able to act swiftly and professionally.”

Thandi photo source

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3 thoughts on “The Thandi Ferry and Robben Island

  • September 17, 2017 at 16:12

    Excellent PR stuff this but in my book it does not was. This is not the first time this vessel has been the subject of questionable seamanship. A few years ago it got lost in fog. The skipper should not have left the mooring in this weather. Had it been another 15 minutes into the trip the outcome might not have been so good. Does Alan Winde have a vested interested in the operating company?

  • September 19, 2017 at 12:40

    How did the Madiba 1 cope with the weather when the Thandi Ferry could not. Was the difference the seaworthyness of the ferry or was it the competence of the skipper. We need an enquiry so that the problem does not recur.

    • September 22, 2017 at 21:29

      Hi Bobby and John. Many thanks for your comments. The investigation should get to the bottom of it…


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