Published On: Tue, Jul 9th, 2024
World | 2,999 views

Majorca ‘crisis’ as hundreds become stuck on ferry en route to Balearic Island | World | News

A seemingly routine ferry journey turned into a nightmare for 355 passengers and 61 crew members aboard the GNV ferry Tenacia in the early hours of this morning. The vessel saw a fire ignited in its engine room as it was en-route from Valencia to Palma de Mallorca.

The blaze took hold while the ferry was 30 miles off the coast of Ibiza. The fire, which broke out shortly after 2am, prompted an immediate alert over the ship’s loudspeaker, instructing all on-board to proceed to designated meeting points as part of the emergency protocols. 

Thanks to the swift actions of the ship’s crew and onboard firefighters, the blaze was quickly controlled, and fortunately, no injuries were reported.

However, the situation remains dire. As of 10am, the ferry was still stranded at sea, with additional firefighting teams from the Generalitat de Catalunya dispatched via helicopter to fully extinguish the lingering fire. 

Salvamento Marítimo has mobilized a significant rescue effort, including two ‘salvamar’ vessels, a tugboat, and multiple helicopters, to ensure the safety of all passengers and crew.

Despite these efforts, passengers like Iván Ros have voiced increasing frustration and impatience.  Speaking to Mediodía COPE, Ros described the deteriorating conditions aboard the ferry. 

“We are tired and losing our patience,” he said. Passengers have been left without electricity or water for extended periods, exacerbating the stress and discomfort. 

Although the shipping company distributed some water bottles, basic amenities like air conditioning remain nonfunctional.

Adding to the passengers’ frustration is the decision by the shipping company to tow the ferry back to Valencia, despite Ibiza being much closer.  “We think it’s the company’s own whims,” Ros added.

The uncertainty of when they will finally reach Valencia is adding to the angst on-board, reports say. The rescue operation is being coordinated by CCS Palma under the direction of Capitanía Marítima de Palma. 

Salvamento Marítimo has reported that the ferry, accompanied by the vessel Marta Mata, is expected to arrive at the Port of Valencia around 10.40am.

As of now, the first group of passengers has already reached the port of Valencia aboard the GNV Bridge, marking the beginning of what is hoped to be a swift and safe conclusion to this harrowing ordeal.

Meanwhile, those still aboard the Tenacia continue to endure the hardships of their unexpected and prolonged journey at sea, eagerly awaiting their turn to disembark and return to safety.

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