All crew and passengers have been declared safe and well, after spending the night aboard a Fred Olsen ferry which ran aground, at around 9pm on Thursday, after the vessel had struggled with high winds and rough seas in Gran Canaria’s Northwest port of Agaete. For several hours this Friday morning, two tugboats tried to move the stranded passenger ship into the port of Agaete, they were later joined by two more tugboats. All attempts made to release the vessel have been so far unsuccessful.
Emergency services from across the island had raced to the scene last night to assist in ensuring the safety the 59 passengers and 16 crew members on board, and following several unsuccessful attempts to free the craft, it was finally decided to evacuate the crew and passengers, who had spent all night on board the vessel, using a Salvamento Maritimo (maritime rescue) vessel, the Salvamar Nunki, to relay them to shore in collaboration with firefighters and emergency personnel from various services assisting the ship’s crew.
By 2:00 p.m. on Friday all the people on board had been brought to safety and accounted for leading to the majority of emergency personnel present being deactivated.
— Cabildo Gran Canaria (@GranCanariaCab) January 8, 2021
A broad range of emergency services were present at the scene including Police, Civil Guard, Red Cross, CECOES, SUC, Civil Protection, Maritime Captaincy, Maritime Rescue, and Fred Olsen crew who have been applauded for showing great professionalism, local fishermen, political leaders, security personnel and port workers all paying homage to the calm shown by passengers who were said to have acted in an exemplary manner despite having been exposed to a tense situation for more than 14 hours.
The Bentago Express, ran aground on Thursday night in Agaete while trying to dock at the Puerto de Las Nieves. No injuries have been reported. The fast catamaran, which covers the route between Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Gran Canaria, suffered damage to one of the engines.
The incident occurred a few minutes before ten o’clock at night. While Storm Filomena continued to produce strong winds and rough seas in the area. According to witnesses, the ship had tried to enter the dock and could not, and then on its second attempt suffered an engine failure.