Extra trips for stranded passengers

By Marc Membrere 06 January 2022, 7:17PM

Ferry services were extended into the late hours on Wednesday for a number of stranded passengers and vehicles between Upolu and Savaii.

Inter-island trips had been suspended on Monday and Tuesday due to bad weather conditions.

The Samoa Shipping Corporation (S.S.C.) compound was crowded on Wednesday with vehicles with many more cars lining outside of the gates all the way up to the gas station in Salelologa.

Some of those stranded on the big island had stayed at the wharf since Monday night.

The General Manager of the S.S.C., Leiataua Samuela Phineas, told the Samoa Observer on the telephone on Thursday afternoon that there were additional trips on Wednesday to make sure that all of the stranded passengers were able to travel between the islands.

"The last ferry came from Savaii at 8pm. But the last ferry from Mulifanua was around 6 pm," Leiataua told the Samoa Observer on Thursday afternoon.

Leiataua said that the last of the trips had arrived at 9.30 pm on Wednesday; by 10 pm none were left.

"The ferry services were not on schedule yesterday which enabled additional trips," he said.

According to Leiataua, there were four round trips by the MV Lady Samoa III, and 4 round trips by the MV Samoa Express II.

He said that is the same case for today as the ferry services are not going by schedule in order to get all of the people who were stranded due to the ferry service cancellation at the beginning of the week.

On Tuesday, the Samoa Airways had stepped in to assist travelers fly to Upolu after the bad weather led to the cancellation of the ferry services.

The airline offered stranded passengers a $85 one-way airfare with flights using a Twin Otter aircraft starting midday Tuesday flying the Faleolo-Maota-Faleolo route.

The first flight departed the Faleolo airport at 11.45 am while the last flight left Maota at 4 pm on Tuesday. All flights were full as people seized the opportunity for a 15-minute journey to Upolu.

By Marc Membrere 06 January 2022, 7:17PM
Samoa Observer

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