Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Ferry Without A Captain

Nothing interesting and nothing special in this picture 1.You only see a small ferry transporting motorcycles and passengers. Look closer, you see the operator of the ferry driving the boat inside the wheel house. He is wearing a yellow T-shirt. I didn't realize anything unusual until I took severl pictures of the same ferry during its many trips.
Now in picture No. 2, you see a man wearing the yellow T-shirt collecting the fare from a passenger.

In picture 3 and 4, you see the man in yellow T-shirt walking back towards the wheel house. And in both picture 3 and 4, you will notice that there is no one navigating the ferry inside the wheel house. The man in yellow T-shirt is the SAME person who is driving the ferry. That means the ferry is left without a captain for a few minutes (or a few seconds?) when he is collecting the fare from the passengers. Do you think it is not dangerous? How can he compromise the safety of the passengers with his stupid actions? He is trying to save some money by doing all these work himself, but can he guarantee that no accident will happen while the ferry is not manned? He is probably making not less than 30 trips on an average day criss-crossing this stretch of busy Igan River. Although the distance is short, may be just less than half a km, he is too irresponsibe to expose the passengers to such unnecessary risks and dangers.

This b&w photo was taken in the late 80s of a similiar ferry plying the same route. We see here a lady collecting the fare from the motorcyclists while someone else was driving the boat. During those days when there was no bridge linking to Sibu Town, residents living in villages across the Igan River could only come to the town by ferry.


James TC Wong said...

Great photography! I like it!

rubberseeds said...

Thank you James.Looking forward to knowing you more.

sarawakiana said...

Do you happen to have photos of charcoal factories in Sarawak? Bakau harvesting,etc?


sarawakiana said...

When I used to ride the ferry I had to hold my breath and at the same time think of all the actions I would take shouldthe ferry sink. Those were very fearful times.

Erica Jong wrote, "For fear of Flying". I could have written a book, "For fear of drowning" with lttle snippets of fear stories from the foochow ladies and gents I knew...but most would say..."Mo dai yeh....never mind,we can all swim..." at least there was a ferry to take us across in less time than swimming. What courage they have. Hip Hip Hooray to Foochows!!

Your photos are exceptionally good. Must have a good photo gallery for Sibu...that will add culture and history to our town.


rubberseeds said...

Hi Sarawakiana, thanks for reading and commenting my blog. I do have one or two photos of an old Sibu man collecting/selling charcoal at the Pulau Babi Wharf.Photo was taken some 25 years ago when a wooden motor launch would berth at the wharf to discharge the bakau charcoal shipped from the lower Rajang.