The Galleons Passage was delayed en route to Tobago this morning after experiencing electrical issues during its 6.30 am sailing from Port of Spain.
Herbert George, chairman of National Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (NIDCO) dismissed rumours that the vessel had had problems with the engine.
He explained, “It was not engine issues. We got an alarm on the vessel, and they have checked it out. The crew onboard had done some investigation, so they had to stop for a while to continue these investigations."
He said the electronic communications between the engine and the bridge were where there seemed to have been a problem.
"What they have done is turn off that engine so the boat is running on three engines.”
He added that the boat is now travelling at 15 knots, delaying the expected arrival arrival in Tobago from 10 am to midday. The vessel is carrying 350 passengers and approximately 50 cars.
“When we get in there (Scarborough) they will have a closer look. Even if they cannot solve it, we will be able to come back to Trinidad at around 15-16 knots and have it properly checked in Trinidad.”
George said despite the electrical issues, he is confident it is safe for the Galleons Passage to sail back to Trinidad at 4 pm today.
“Those vessels carry four engines, so you can isolate one, you can run on three, even on two. The thing is, when you are using fewer engines it will, of course, affect only the speed. “
Lyle Alexander, chairman of the Port Authority, told Newsday Tobago he is aware of the issue. When asked about the extent of repairs that may be needed, how long they would take and whether or not the vessel may be pulled out of service, he said, “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The vessel is on its way to Tobago. We experienced problems. It was delayed.
"Until it gets to Tobago, let’s not try to answer those questions.”
He added, “If the boat had a problem before it sailed, I don’t think it would have sailed.”