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Old 30-03-2006, 17:42   #1
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Post U.S. Navy joins ferry rescue efforts

At least 48 die in Bahrain ferry accident

Thursday, March 30, 2006; Posted: 6:48 p.m. EST (23:48 GMT)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- At least 63 passengers were rescued -- and the bodies of 48 others recovered -- after a passenger ferry carrying about 135 people on a company outing capsized and sank Thursday night in a narrow channel off the Bahrain coast, officials said.

"We're still not really sure about the nationalities," said Tariq Hassan, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry. He added that an investigation will be conducted into the sinking, which occurred about 9:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. ET).

Officials are trying to determine what caused the ship to sink in clear weather less than a mile off the Bahraini coast, near the capital Manama.

Witnesses said the boat sank on its way back into port, according to the British Foreign Office.

Bahraini officials said there was no indication the boat was attacked. Without elaborating, they said only that the boat experienced a "technical" problem.

Twelve of those rescued were injured and taken to a Bahraini hospital, according to the Interior Ministry.

Information Minister Muhammad Abdul Ghaffar said he estimates that the passengers included 25 Britons, 10 South Africans, 20 Filipinos, 10 Egyptians and 10 Bahrainis.

It was his understanding that the passengers worked for the same company and were on an evening dinner cruise scheduled to last a couple of hours, Ghaffar said. He added that the company was based in Bahrain.

"We hope we can find more survivors," Ghaffar said, but other officials expressed concern that the rescue would become more complicated once the sun set.

The U.S. Navy sent boats, a Coast Guard cutter, 16 divers and two helicopters to assist in the rescue, Navy officials said. The island kingdom houses the headquarters of the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, which patrols the Persian Gulf.

Thursday's sinking comes fewer than two months after an Egyptian ferry -- the Al Salam Boccaccio 98 -- sank in rough Red Sea waters in early February. An estimated 1,000 passengers were feared dead.
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Old 30-03-2006, 19:37   #2
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A BC ferry sank about two weeks ago. How come that did not make the headline news ?
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Old 30-03-2006, 19:52   #3
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I dunno Micheal.

You tell me?

Probably because. And forgive me and my smartass remarks!!

Probably because those silly Arabs don't know how to maintain their damn boats!! Just goes to show you. That they can maintain a mosque. But not a damn boat?

Then, you wonder why they never reported the BC ferry sinking? Because over there in that general part of the world. They been having nothing "but" sinkings going on over there? Last week, Nigeria had a ferry sinking.

Also makes me wonder if these sinkings are "terrorist" related?
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Old 30-03-2006, 21:22   #4
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Sunk

The BC ferry made an error in navigation and hit a rock. Folks from nearby villages went out and resued everyone. At least that is what they thought. Later two folks showed up missing and they have not been located. Boat ended up in 400 metres of water. They have been down with a submersable but there is not much to report. It was an easy area to navigate, so someone screwed up.
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Old 31-03-2006, 00:02   #5
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I currently live in the area.

Health and safety isn't top of their agenda
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Old 31-03-2006, 08:13   #6
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At least 57 die in Bahrain boat accident

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- At least 57 bodies were recovered through Friday in the Persian Gulf off Bahrain after a cruise boat carrying 137 people capsized during a party.

Sixty-seven people were rescued, and 13 were missing, Bahrain Interior Ministry officials said. Eleven of the dead were unidentified.

The cruise boat sank Thursday night.

Among the dead were citizens of Bahrain, Philippines, South Africa, Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the United States, Nepal, Pakistan, Germany, Poland, Ireland, Great Britain, India and Egypt.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said 13 of the dead are believed to be British citizens.

The consortium Nass-Murray & Roberts chartered the boat for a dinner cruise to celebrate the end of a construction project. They are the lead contractors in a joint venture building the 50-story World Trade Center in Bahrain's capital, Manama.

Murray & Robert's chief executive, Brian Bruce, said in a written statement that four of its workers were confirmed dead, six others were unaccounted for, and 15 were safe. All 25 are assigned to the WTC project.

"We are deeply shocked by this tragedy. Our sympathy and condolences go out to all those who have been affected," Bruce said. He said a crisis center was set up at the company's corporate headquarters in Johannesburg.

Sheikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, the island kingdom's interior minister, said an initial probe found no indication of terrorism.

Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Hassan said the cause of the incident was not known, and will be investigated. The boat capsized about 9:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. ET) Thursday. Witnesses told the British Foreign Office that the boat capsized on its way back into port.

It tipped over in clear weather in a narrow channel about a mile from the headquarters of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, Navy officials said. The Navy sent boats, a helicopter and a Coast Guard cutter to the scene, and also offered the services of divers.

A man who didn't want to be identified said he was on the boat's observation deck before it left the Marina Club port and was concerned because it felt top-heavy. The man, who did not join the cruise, said the boat had two levels.

He said a friend of his, who was a bartender on the boat, was able to swim ashore. He quoted his friend as saying a swell or wake lifted the boat, sending kitchen equipment to one side of the vessel, before it capsized.

Al Khudsay Travel and Tourism is the tour boat operator.

Construction of the World Trade Center is nearing completion in Manama. The sail-shaped, twin office and retail towers will use wind energy to provide up to 15 percent of the electricity needed by the buildings.

Thursday's sinking comes fewer than two months after an Egyptian ferry -- the Al Salam Boccaccio 98 -- sank in rough Red Sea waters in early February. An estimated 1,000 passengers were feared dead.
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Old 01-04-2006, 08:56   #7
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Post Deadly boat accident: Two missing

Saturday, April 1, 2006; Posted: 7:56 a.m. EST (12:56 GMT)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Two people were missing two days after a cruise ship carrying 126 people capsized in the Persian Gulf off Bahrain during a party, killing 57, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior said Saturday.

Rescuers look for bodies next to the wreckage of a boat after bringing it to shore in Bahrain Friday.


Tariq Hassan said the consortium that chartered the boat for the Thursday night bash had reduced the numbers of missing and people aboard. Sixty-seven people were rescued.

Nass-Murray & Roberts chartered the boat for a celebratory dinner cruise after completing a key phase of a major construction project. They are the lead contractors in a joint venture building the 50-story World Trade Center in Bahrain's capital, Manama.

More than 50 senior employees from various companies working on that project perished in the boating accident, according to a written statement from Murray & Roberts.

Ten of the company's workers were confirmed dead and 15 were safe, according to the statement. All 25 of the Murray & Roberts workers are assigned to the WTC project.

Murray & Roberts' chief executive, Brian Bruce, told CNN he was traveling to Manama to console victims' families. The company is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Among the dead were nationals from at least eight countries.

Hassan said the cause of the incident was not known, and was being investigated. Witnesses told the British Foreign Office that the boat capsized on its way back into port.

It tipped over in clear weather in a narrow channel about a mile from the headquarters of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, Navy officials told CNN.

Sheikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, the interior minister, said an initial probe found no indication of terrorism.
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Old 01-04-2006, 09:24   #8
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Posting to see if the new system is working.
We had a large house boat flip here last year because too many people were on the boat, and they were all on the upper deck. They had been warned but like a famous couple they ignored the warnings because the warners were jealous. One girl who was in the can when it flipped drowned.
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Old 01-04-2006, 09:40   #9
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Well Micheal.

Those things do happen. Just like in the case of this ferry sinking. Same thing happened.

Hopefully these Arabs are taking notes? And are learning from their stupid mistakes?
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Old 01-04-2006, 23:21   #10
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Post Bahrain death boat's captain detained

Saturday, April 1, 2006; Posted: 5:13 p.m. EST (22:13 GMT)


Bahraini rescue personnel search for bodies Saturday at the scene off the coast of Manama.

MANAMA, Bahrain -- Passengers expressed worries over the precarious balance of a traditional dhow-turned-pleasure boat, which swayed dangerously even before it set off on its cruise, ending with the vessel flipping over during a sharp turn, drowning 57 people, a British survivor said Saturday.

The dhow, an ancient form of sailboat used in the Gulf, had a permit only for use as a floating restaurant, not to go on passenger cruises, an Interior Ministry spokesman said. Also, the boat's captain, who has been detained for questioning, was not licensed to pilot the craft, he said.

"According to Coast Guard records and the Tourism Board, the boat was registered as a floating boat, but not as a cruiser permitted to sail," ministery spokesman Col. Tariq al-Hassan told The Associated Press.

The owner had applied for a sailing permit but it had not yet been granted, he said.

The dead from Thursday night's accident included 21 Indians and 15 Britons, including a number of top executives involved in the construction of Bahrain's World Trade Center, a nearly completed complex of two 50-story skyscrapers in the shape of sails that are to be the tiny Gulf island nation's tallest buildings.

Sixty-nine people were rescued at the time of the accident -- though two of them, an Indian man and a British woman, were not confirmed safe until Saturday because they had been picked up by private boats.

Al-Hassan said one person still may be missing and authorities were still searching, saying there may have been a few more than the 126 people believed on the boat when it overturned.

The construction firm Murray & Roberts Group had rented the dhow, the Al-Dana, for a party celebrating the towers' construction. But during the cruise, the craft tipped during a turn, sending people dancing on the upper deck sliding into the water. It then flipped entirely, trapping passengers dining on the lower deck.

Simon Hill, a manager with the firm who survived the capsising, said the boat had swayed even before it left shore, "causing several people to feel uneasy. By 7.40pm, 16 people had disembarked," he said.

He said a representative from the tour operator through which the boat was chartered urged people to move below deck to distribute weight more evenly, then spoke to the boat's captain and owner.

"We asked the captain if he was happy to leave, and if he wasn't he should say so, and we would not leave. At 8 o' clock we sailed," Hill told a press conference in Manama.

Hill said the Gulf waters were calm during the cruise, with little wind. After eating and listening to a speech by the World Trade Center project director, he and his wife and others were on the top deck, sitting in chairs. About a kilometer (half mile) from shore, the boat then made a U-turn to return.

"One minute we were stood talking, and having a good time, enjoying a very nice evening, it was a pleasant evening. And then in seconds, it went very quickly," he said.

"I looked and I saw people sliding down the boat to one side, through the gap, and before I knew it I was in the water, under the water, and there were people everywhere in the water," he said. "I came to the surface, called for my wife and found her."

Within seconds, he said, the boat flipped over completely. Those who were on the top deck were able to swim away. But about half the passengers were trapped below deck, some of them trying to smash the glass windows underwater, Hill said.

"We didn't see anyone that was underneath come out," he said.
Another passing pleasure boat picked up some passengers from the water, and within 10 minutes a Coast Guard boat arrived, followed by a U.S. Marines boat and another Bahraini Coast Guard vessel. "We begged for divers to come as soon as possible," Hill said.

British families of the victims began arriving in Bahrain on Saturday, as authorities began the task of returning the bodies of the dead.

A nine-member team of British foreign service officers and Red Cross staffers arrived in Bahrain Friday to work with the embassy "to provide all the comfort and support the families need over the coming days and weeks,".

British Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells -- who rushed to Bahrain from a visit in the nearby United Aran Emirates -- said the impact of the disaster on the British community in the tiny Gulf island nation "has been enormous."

"It's a relatively small ex-pat community and to lose this number of people in a single accident has been a great trauma," Howells told reporters Saturday after meeting Bahrain's king and interior minister.

"The Bahrainis in fact have a very comprehensive licensing system for leisure boats. The system seems to be rigorous here," he said.

The capsizing struck a heavy blow to the top management of the South Africa-based construction firm Murray & Roberts Group and its partners working on the construction of Bahrain's World Trade Center -- meant to be an iconic structure in this Gulf nation that has been booming with profits from oil and gas.

The dead included 10 employees of Murray & Roberts -- among them the project's chairman, David Evans, 56, and project director Will Nolan, 50 -- as well as six employees of the engineering firm Atkins, which was handling design of the World Trade Center.

The companies involved in the project were to meet to determine the impact on construction and whether there would be a delay in the complex, said Samir Nass, vice chairman and managin director of Nass Corporation, a top partner in the construction.

"There are so many firms that are subcontractors who were also on the boat," Nass told AP by telephone. "It's too hard to tell at this stage what will be the extent of the delay, if any."

Construction of the twin towers' skeleton has been completed, a monumental, swooping sail-shaped frame of concrete on steel overlooking the coastline of Bahrain's capital, Manama. They are still to be clad in a sheet of glass. A shopping mall at the base of the towers is scheduled for opening in August, with the towers themselves -- dedicated to offices -- due for opening later in 2006.
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