Westminister Sovereign Ferries was yesterday launched by Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh at the Lagoonda jetty at Aberdeen, whilst the First Lady Sia Nyama Koroma named the ferry that is now ready for operation.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, the VP said he was deputizing his boss President Ernest Koroma stating that the government was always looking forward to partners who will provide safe and affordable sea transportation.
“People who will be travelling to and from Lungi will now have better transportation to travel and also the passengers from flights will have alternative transportation to Lungi.”
He thanked the team of Westminister for their unflinching support as they have done remarkably well in the ground handling at Lungi Airport and hope they will do well in the sea transportation.
First Lady Sia Nyama Koroma poured the libation and named the ferry Sierra Queen and wished all those who will be travelling to have safe travelling always and for them to be an example in safety and affordability.
The CEO Peter Fowler thanked the government and promised that they will continue to perform at the highest level as they are working in more than 50 countries across the world.
He said Sierra Queen will operate from Government Wharf to Targrin Lungi and it will take about 14 minutes with a speed of 25 knots. “The capacity of Sierra Queen is 190knots and onboard the vessel, we have a bar and restaurant, wifi, hospitable staff and a small center to be used as a hospital.”
Peter Fowler said this is the beginning of a sea business that his company will embark on. “We plan to increase our fleets and also to construct more jetties across the country as we will be operating a water taxi project.”
CEO Fowler said Sierra Queen is 38.9 metre long, with experienced and hospitable staff who have been trained to provide quality service on a daily basis. He said he first came to Sierra Leone in 2011 when they won the contract to operate the ground handling services at the airport. “I was very pleased with the road construction and the urgency of the government in rebuilding the economy. I am back again and the only problem that I saw is still the traffic jam, but with the paving of roads, I am sure it will help.”
He promised the Vice President and the First Lady that Sierra Queen is here to stay and to give quality services to Sierra Leoneans. He said Sierra Leoneans must be rest assured that Sierra Queen will help combat the sea problem and this is just the beginning.
Due to the heavy rainfall, the naming of the ferry and pouring of libation was done from the veranda of Lagoonda, where the First Lady did all the rites to make sure that Sierra Queen starts operation safely.