Zanzibar ferry 'was seaworthy'
20 July 2012, 12:40
Ottawa - A Canadian company said on Thursday it
brokered the sale of the ferry that sank off the Indian Ocean island of
Zanzibar killing at least 62 people - and that the ship was seaworthy at
the time of sale.
"Scope Community Consultants Ltd was asked to
co-ordinate the purchase of two sister ferries from Washington State
Ferries and shipping them from Seattle to Zanzibar last year," Scope
representative Peter Shayo wrote in an email to AFP.
"At the time
they were purchased, they met all the US Coast Guard requirements for
operating, and they were also properly inspected prior to shipping out,"
The Scope representative referred any further
questions to Seagull Sea Transport Company, which operated the ferry out
The Washington State Department of Transportation had said it sold two vessels to Scope.
than 80 people are still missing and presumed dead after the ferry sank
on Wednesday in choppy waters off Zanzibar, after leaving Tanzania's
commercial capital Dar es Salaam. So far, 62 bodies have been recovered.
vessel officially carried 291 passengers and crew, including more than
30 children. But ferries in the region very often carry additional
passengers who are not listed on the manifest.
The boat that sank
on Wednesday had initially been reported by officials to be the Kalama,
but officials said on Thursday it was in fact its sister ship, the
Skagit. Both were built in 1989.