Chaos at Salelologa Wharf as passengers rush to return to Upolu after holiday

There were terrifying scenes at Salelologa Wharf on Savai’i as people rushed to get on board the vessel to return to Upolu after the long Christmas holiday.

According to one of the passengers, Kerstin Ofisa, the Lady Naomi which was supposed to depart Salelologa wharf in the early hours of Monday was cancelled due to unforeseen reasons, leaving the smaller ship, Samoa Express as the only option for the passengers at the wharf.

However, some people who waited for hours and employees desperate to return to Upolu for their first day back to work refused to cooperate when the crew advised them to be divided into a smaller number so that they can board the Samoa Express.

‘’The passengers were divided to the number which can fit in the boat but some people nearly got squashed because the boat was overloaded and people kept jumping aboard,’’ she said.

‘’The boat left a little late because the Lady Naomi was supposed to take us to Mulifanua but we don’t know what was wrong with it that’s why the smaller boat came.’’

‘’There was this other family who were rushing for a family faalavelave but they were so upset that they couldn’t make it. But thank God no one got hurt.’’

According to Mrs. Ofisa, some passengers argued with the crew as some people who kept jumping onboard were still standing on the boat ramp as it was slowly closing.

Mrs Ofisa said although she was rushing to work she decided to stay and wait for the next boat.

According to one of the crew members who did not want to be identified, it was difficult to conduct their usual activities on the boat while traveling because there was no space to do so.

Attempts to get a comment from the Samoa Shipping Corporation regarding the incident were unsuccessful.



Photo supplied      Caption: Passengers using the inter-island shipping 

Talaia Mika