The Malta Independent 27 January 2020, Monday

May Day mayhem on the Comino quay

Sunday, 5 May 2019, 11:40 Last update: about 10 months ago

After an exhilarating trek around still-unspoilt Comino last Wednesday, at around 3pm it was time for my wife and me to make our way down to the jetty, a miniscule concrete platform, the surface area of which cannot be more than 20 square metres. There were already quite a few people there waiting to make the crossing back to the mainland. Only 15 more minutes were needed for the number to increase to such an extent that the mass of humanity perched on this restricted space came to resemble a colony of penguins.


So great was the density that people wanting to get off the various ferries and vessels found it extremely difficult to do so, since many of us were literally standing on the edge. I pitied the asthmatic lady who had no choice but to attempt a retreat to the back in order to avoid breathing in the noxious fumes belching out of those diesel engines.

The nadir was reached when our ferry finally arrived. Room is required for the formation of an orderly queue to facilitate boarding. There was neither so just let me say that the amount of undignified pushing and shoving had to be seen to be believed. A Merciful Providence must have intervened during those hellish minutes to ensure that no one slipped and ended up crushed inside the gap between the watercraft’s side and the quay. One wonders therefore what kind of divine intervention will be needed during the summer months.

The frame of an iron jetty under construction lies in the water a couple of feet away but the wooden floorboards are still piled up, occupying precious space on the concrete. And those damned deckchairs strewn all over the place aren’t helping matters, either. 

After we moored at Marfa, an exasperated ferry pilot told me that the company he works for is sick and tired of appealing to the powers-that-be to do something before it is too late. He wished me luck with this letter.



Martin Bugeja


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