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Letter to the Editor – Raja Ferries – An Accident Waiting To Happen

A recent trip to the mainland from Koh Samui left a deep impression of the Raja Ferry Company …. they are providing a service where an accident is just waiting to happen.

The ferry was in an appalling state of repair, with a whole range of major and minor safety issues. The age of the ship was not known, but an estimate of the 1960’s would not be far away. In addition to the black smoke pouring from the funnels – a sight that all who live on the West coast of Samui see on a daily basis – the following photos were snapped by phone. They represent only what can be seen in the public areas of the ship, and if this is how Raja presents itself to the public, imagine what might be found in the operating areas of the ship. Think of what you might find if allowed access to navigation systems, emergency fire pumps, bilge pumps, hydraulic systems for opening and closing the main doors etc…

Any management team that allows ferries to sail in such an appalling state must be concerning, and it should be questioned as to the state of their maintenance policies, and safety and emergency procedures.

In addition to the generally dirty cabin areas, broken seats and disgusting toilets, the following photos highlight particular areas of concern.

In no particular order…

Roof panelling on the main passenger deck – rotten and broken

Rusty and corroded safety handrailing – low down where a kid could fall.

Badly corroded stairways between decks

Black smoke polluting the environment

Hot funnel – open to the public. Also note the badly deformed structural steel forming part of the ships main body. Something not right here…

A ladder – presumably for use in an emergency ?

More defective structural steelwork – a failure point in rough seas ?

Safety handrail completely rotted through

Electrical control box dangerously open in the main seating cabin.

Safety handrail / gate – chained with a corroded chain and in very poor condition

A view to the working area of the ship… very disorganised and with a broken chair for the crew to sleep on….

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