Dubai Ferry carrying 50 people catches fire in major drill
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The emergency call came through to the General HQ of Dubai Police in the afternoon, a Dubai Ferry with 50 people aboard had collided with another vessel 2.5 nautical miles off Dubai and was now on fire.
Emergency teams from the Armed Forces, General Headquarters of Dubai Police, General Directorate of Civil Defence, Dubai Ambulance Services Corporation, DP World, Rashid Port, and Dubai Maritime City Authority were scrambled.
On this particular occasion, the emergency was a simulated exercise intended to test Dubai’s readiness for a major maritime incident of this kind, but it was eerily reminiscent of the MV Dara tragedy in 1961, which saw more than 250 people killed when a passenger liner caught fire off the coast of Dubai.
The mock drill for Dubai Ferry started at the Dubai Water Canal Station in Jumeirah and extended up to Rashid Port, the RTA said in a press release.
“The drill simulated a collision between one of RTA’s marine transit modes, Dubai Ferry with 50 persons on board, sparking flames in the rear of the ferry. It required a quick response for rescuing passengers and taking necessary actions to restore RTA’s services,” said Ahmad Hashim Behroozian, head of RTA’s Emergency and Crisis Management Team and CEO of Licensing Agency.
“We have achieved our objectives in testing the speed of the response of the Emergency and Crisis Management Team and verifying the extent of coordination between all parties involved in the response process,” he added.