Tobago pan players who took part in the semi-final of the National Panorama competition at the Queen’s Park Savannah on Sunday, were left stranded in Trinidad after the T&T Express experience mechanical problems and sailings were cancelled.
Approximately four bands were affected after yesterday’s 2 pm sailing from Port of Spain failed to materialise.
Marie Toby, president of Pan Trinbago’s Tobago region, told Newsday yesterday evening, “Some accommodations were made to get the bands to Tobago. We already have one band which is Carib Dixieland back home and the other three at the airport, RBC Redemption Sound Setters, NLCB Buccooneers and Katzenjammers are still in Trinidad trying to sort things out.”
Newsday understands that because of the cancellation of the sailing, Pan Trinbago arranged for the band members to return home via the airbridge and their instruments transported on the Cabo Star cargo ferry.
Chairman of the TT Chamber of Industry and Commerce – Tobago division, Demi Cruickshank, said the chamber is hoping this issue doesn’t affect the island during the Carnival season. He told Newsday, “This is the time that hoteliers and private business make their money from people who come to Tobago to get away from the Carnival celebrations or those who come to relax after Carnival.
“We hope the Government and the Port Authority keep their word by bringing on the T&T Spirit as soon as possible to alleviate this issue. As long as the T&T Spirit is back on the run, we would not have to endure this problem. Also, we hope with the coming of this new ferry and the return of the T&T Spirit, Tobago’s issues on the inter-island seabridge would not be a bitter experience.“
Cruickshank said businesses will continue to struggle every time the sailings are cancelled.