Ship accident off Formentera
German ferry crashes on a rock in front of Ibiza – 25 injured
This ship accident with many injuries is a mystery: A catamaran high-speed ferry operated by the German shipping company FRS hit a rocky island at high speed on the weekend off Ibiza.
A short crossing on the Mediterranean Sea turns into a hell of a trip: A fast ferry from the German shipping company FRS with 47 people on board crashed into a rock at high speed late on Saturday evening off Ibiza. 25 people were injured, the authorities in the Spanish Balearic Islands announced on Sunday.
The worst injuries suffered according to a ten-year-old Spaniard who was flown by helicopter to Mallorca to the Son Espases University Hospital in the island’s capital, Palma. “His condition is stable,” said the Balearic Transport Minister Josep Marí Ribas to journalists.
The catamaran high-speed ferry “San Gwann” was on its way from Ibiza to Formentera with 35 passengers and 12 crew members when it hit the small rocky island of Es Malvins. According to the information, the accident happened around 10 p.m. shortly after leaving the port of Ibiza. The shipping company said that the security protocol was immediately activated and the responsible authorities were alerted. The crew took care of the passengers until the evacuation. According to the official information, the occupants of the ship were brought to Ibiza in small rubber dinghies.
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How the well-known and actually clearly visible islet Es Malvins could be overlooked initially remained a mystery. “The cause of the accident is still unknown,” said the head of the sea rescue service of the Balearic Islands, Miguel Félix Chicón, on Sunday a radio station. A shipping company spokeswoman in Flensburg told the German Press Agency that the FRS experts and the authorities were still investigating the course of the accident. “The only thing that is certain at the moment is that the crew was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”
Chicón told the radio station Cadena Ser that in the accident, the ferry must have been traveling at a speed of around 30 knots (a good 55 kilometers per hour). The head of the port authority of Ibiza, Luis Gascón, spoke of an “enormous speed, but which is normal for such a ship”. The impact must have been “very strong”.
In addition to the ten-year-old in Mallorca, there were three other injured in the hospital on Sunday afternoon, according to Minister Ribas: two 41-year-old men and a 32-year-old woman, all in Ibiza. They showed minor injuries. It was initially unclear whether there were Germans or other foreigners among the injured.
The crossing from Ibiza to Formentera takes around half an hour. The 51-meter-long “San Gwann”, which had only started operating on this route at the end of June, was badly damaged in the accident, as the authorities announced. Chicón even did not rule out a sinking of the ship. According to initial findings, no fuel has leaked so far, the port authority said.