2 stranded ferries salvaged after prolonged efforts
Two ferries, stranded in the shoals of the Padma, were salvaged yesterday after prolonged rescue efforts on Mawa-Kawrakandi route.
RO-RO ferry Shah Mokhdum, with 10 buses, eight private cars, two trucks and around 600 passengers on board, sailed from Mawa around 6:30am yesterday and got stuck in a shoal on its way to Kawrankandi around 8:00am, said Sirajul Islam, manager of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (Mawa station).
Rescue vessel IT 97 itself got stranded after about one and a half hours’ effort to salvage the ferry. A second rescue vessel IT 94 joined the rescue operation but failed to do much due to heavy tide.
The passengers were shifted to Kawrankandi ghat in trawlers and other vessels before the ferry was finally salvaged at 5:00pm yesterday.
Shaheed Barkat, another RO-RO ferry carrying 15 vehicles, cruised from Kawrakandi ghat along the old channel in the river on Friday morning and got trapped at Kawliar Char near Mawa ghat around 8:00am, said ferry captains.
Two rescue vessels finally managed to salvage the ferry at 7:00am yesterday after 23 hours’ laborious efforts.
The distance of the country’s busiest ferry route Mawa-Kawrakandi has been increasing gradually due to poor navigability and shoals.
BIWTC official Sirajul said, as this channel does not have any signal lights, ferries run the risk of getting stuck in the submerged chars.
After these incidents, other ferries are taking an alternative route sailing 25 kilometres more.