SEAN DOUGLAS and KINNESHA GEORGE-HARRY
BROTHERS Wendell and Leon De Freitas told Newsday a malfunction on the Galleons Passage yesterday caused the boat to abandon its trip to Tobago and return to Port of Spain.
The boat left Port of Spain at 12.05 pm, but almost an hour into its voyage – upon reaching the rough waters known as the Bocas, the engines conked out causing the boat to drift and rock wildly, related Wendell.
“At first it was moving fast but then came to a dead stop and was rocking from side to side like an earthquake. The engine started back then shut down again.”
He said the boat returned to Port of Spain at about 2.10 pm.
Wendell said a woman on the public address system, blamed the turnaround on “bad weather ahead.” He said he was unimpressed that staff had not properly apologised for the incident. “This is unacceptable. They are taking us for granted.”
He said the whole day was ruined, more so as all his family members had to leave home at 5 am to reach the port for the ferry’s 9 am initially scheduled sailing time. Leon lamented, “Our car trunk is full of frozen chicken and goat for us to have cooked in Tobago.”
Wendell added, “We were all to have gone to sign some documents but now we don’t know what we’ll do.”
Tobago House of Assembly Minority Leader Watson Duke said slammed the government for endangering the lives of people on the Galleon’s Passage.
“I have said already that the Galleon’s Passage is Gilligan’s Passage and it is no new boat, it is an old boat. I’ve said already, the boat is a river boat and not suited for carrying persons on the high Atlantic sea.”
Meanwhile, the TT Spirit, which was pulled from service last week Sunday, is still being repaired. Port Authority chairman Lyle Alexander told Newsday yesterday that the problem was with the crank case in the port-side inner main engine.
“The repairs are ongoing, but a specialist intervention is necessary at this point in time. We are sure to get that done within the next couple of days and aiming to be back on the run by Saturday.”