The National Infrastructure Development Company Limited (NIDCO) and the Water Taxi Service (WTS) have refuted statements made by Public Services Association (PSA) president Watson Duke, on the incident onboard the Trini Flash.
The Trini Flash stalled on the North Coast, on its return from Scarborough on Tuesday, and passengers and crew members had to be transferred onto the Cabo Star.
The water-taxi caught fire and is out of service.
Duke, minority leader in the Tobago House of Assembly, in a statement, accused the government of attempting to murder passengers on the water-taxi.
In its statement, NIDCO and WTS said Duke’s statements were “completely false and malicious in nature.”
“It is also a severe criminal allegation made against the Government with serious legal ramifications.
At the time of the incident the professionally trained crew members on-board the vessel followed all safety protocols. The Coast Guard was immediately contacted by the Master on-board who requested assistance.”
The two agencies said the transfer of passengers from the Trini Flash to the Cabo Star was done in the most effective manner and was done successfully in 38 minutes without injury to passengers and despite adverse sea conditions.
The agencies also said the water-taxis have been used on the sea bridge on numerous occasions over the past years and over the last year, there has been a total of 32 sailings, all without incident.
“This is the first time since the inception of its operations in December 2008, that there has been a fire on-board any of the water-taxis.”
The agencies emaphasised that neither NIDCO nor WTC compromised the safety of its passengers and crew and remained committed to the provision of a reliable alternative mode of national transport.