545 passengers and crew of an inter-island ferry evacuated after it runs aground in Malaysia’s northwest

   February 25, 2023 ,   Accidents

Maritime authorities safely evacuated the 545 passengers and crew members of an inter-island ferryboat after it ran aground in Malaysia’s northwest on Thursday, February 23rd.

The ferry Ekspres Bahagia 168 (2016-built, IMO 9813905), which was approaching its destination of Kedah city after departing Langkawi, ran aground ~0.8 nautical miles from Kuala Kedah jetty at ~9:15 pm local time on Thursday.

The MMEA-Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency immediately deployed a ship to render assistance. A tug owned by a local shipping company sailed to the area in order to tow the stranded ferry to port.

Ekspres Bahagia 168 was taken under tow and brought to port by 11:35 pm. The MMEA and other local emergency response agencies facilitated the disembarkation of the passengers and crew afterward.

According to Noor Azreyanti Ishak, director of the MMEA’s Kuala Kedah office, the grounding had occurred while the area had been experiencing low tide.

Passengers said that the ferry had suffered a temporary blackout that had lasted 10 minutes just before the accident occurred.