It was earlier reported that 69 passengers were aboard the vessel, but Layne said it was now believed that 68 passengers were on board. However the turbulent water had Sixty eight passengers aboard a damaged Robben Island ferry have all been safely evacuated from the sinking vessel, authorities said on Friday afternoon.

City of Cape Town spokesperson Theo Layne said the passengers were removed from the vessel and ferried to the ferry jetty. The vessel was still out at sea.

.He said no one was believed to be missing, but rescue divers were at the scene to check if any one had been left behind.

 “We are doing a headcount as we speak,” he said.

Layne was unable to say how badly the ferry had been damaged or how far out it was from shore.

He said rescue operations were being complicated by extremely high seas and strong winds.

Cape Town Harbour spokesperson Coen Birkenstock said port control was informed of the incident at 14:20.

Two NSRI teams and a port pilot Boat Patrol were deployed to the scene, Birkenstock said.