Here’s a good seafaring story from last Tuesday night. A 650ft long
Royal Navy oiler drops anchor in Tobago harbour fairway (Trinidad), thus
blocking entry to any other ships. The crew go ashore and get on the
piss while the officers have an onboard cocktail party.
Meanwhile a roro ferry full of trucks and cars is stuck at sea in dark
(in the hurricane season) and can’t in until the next day.
Port to probe blocking of vessel
by: Rosemarie Sant
The Port Authority has requested a report from the T&T Inter Island
Transportation Company Ltd (TTIT) on why the British naval vessel, the
RFA Wave Knight, was allowed to drop anchor in the channel blocking
the entry which would have been used by the cargo vessel, the
Superfast Galicia, to the Scarborough Port on Tuesday. Acting general
manager of the Port Authority, Charmaine Lewis, told the T&T Guardian
that from her initial understanding it was the “sea pilot, the
Trinidad and Tobago Pilots and Berthing Association, which gave the
RFA Wave Knight the all clear to drop anchor in the channel.”Lewis
said what happened on Tuesday night “should not have happened. It is a
Among other things the port wants to find out is “who determined where
the ship was docked, what planning was done if any, did they observe
the process, where did they fail? We want to ascertain the causes and
take the necessary steps to ensure we get the answers so that it does
not happen again. We also want to ascertain where the
responsibility lies,” she said She could not say whether someone would
be disciplined as a result of the fiasco, saying only “it may or may
not happen. It depends on whether the person is under the jurisdiction
of the port because this also involves persons and organisations that
are external to the port.
“The pilots, the shipping agents the ship personnel, we do not want to
assign blame anywhere until we know the facts,” she added. She expects
to get a report on what happened by next Monday.Lewis said she was
contacted on Tuesday night when the ferry Galicia stood stranded in
the middle of the ocean. She said: “They contacted me so I was aware
that the Galicia was out in the water and could not go in to the port.
The vessel was in the channel with passengers (the truckers and crew).
Their safety was uppermost and we instructed the vessel to return to
Trinidad.”The vessel had cargo destined for Tobago
but she said the priority was ensuring the safety of the people on board.
President of the Tobago Chamber, Demi John Cruikshank, told the T&T
Guardian that as a result of the vessel not being able to dock Tobago
was short on bread on Wednesday. Other supplies were also affected. He
added: “Because the naval vessel was parked in the wrong position
there was no way the Galicia could have berthed.” On the night in
question there was a cocktail reception aboard the naval vessel and
the crew, according to reports, were on shore leave and were
unavailable to move the vessel.
British High Commissioner Tim Stew in a letter to the T&T Guardian
said he “regrets the inconvenience caused.”High Commissioner Stew said
he sympathised with the people of Trinidad and Tobago “whose lives
were affected by the non-docking of the ferry Galicia in the
Scarborough Port.” He said the High Commission was “acutely aware of
importance of the ferries passenger and cargo to both islands and took
this into account in planning our visit.” “The RFA Wave Knight and its
crew,” he said, “are here to do good and to support the islands.
They are part of a year-round British naval presence in the
Caribbean.” British Army Royal Engineer Commandos from the vessel. he
said, have “carried out work supporting the Child Welfare League,
Signal Hill Secondary School, the Sea Scouts and the Roxborough
Secondary School.” Meanwhile, the RFA Wave Knight is due to arrive at
the Port of Port-of-Spain.
The visit is part of its deployment to the region to provide support
and assistance to the UK’s Caribbean Overseas Territories and Bermuda
during the hurricane season. source: guardian