Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Officials say ferry lacked license

Officials say ferry lacked license

  • Updated
  • 0
{{featured_button_text}}

MANAMA, Bahrain - Some worried passengers left a traditional dhow-turned-pleasure boat because it was swaying precariously even before it left the dock on a cruise that ended with the vessel flipping over, drowning 57 people, a British survivor said Saturday.

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

"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," ministry 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-eight people were rescued out of 126 on board at the time of the accident, and coast guard divers and helicopters searched Saturday for one person believed missing.

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 who had been dancing on the upper deck sliding into the water. It then flipped, trapping passengers on the lower deck.

Simon Hill, a manager with the firm who survived the capsizing, said the boat was swaying even before it left shore, "causing several people to feel uneasy. By 7:40 p.m., 16 people had disembarked," he said.

British Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells said the impact of the disaster on the British community in the tiny Gulf island nation "has been enormous."

Tags

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

  • Updated

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian militants launched dozens of rockets from Gaza and Israel unleashed new air strikes against them early Tuesday, in an escalation triggered by soaring tensions in Jerusalem and days of clashes at an iconic mosque in the holy city.

  • Updated

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel stepped up its attacks on the Gaza Strip, flattening a high-rise building used by the Hamas militant group and killing at least three militants in their hideouts on Tuesday as Palestinian rockets rained down almost nonstop on parts of Israel.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News

Weekend Things to Do

News Alert