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Monday 9 December 2019
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NIDCO: Suppliers to pay for ferry repairs

Jean de la Valette back in service Saturday

The Jean de la Valette at the Port of Spain port on Thursday. PHOTO BY SUREASH CHOLAI
The Jean de la Valette at the Port of Spain port on Thursday. PHOTO BY SUREASH CHOLAI

Chairman of the National Infrastructure Development Company Nidco Hubert George said the broken jet cover bracket that caused the Jean de la Valette to abort its sailing to Tobago on Thursday was as common as “a baby dying.” Speaking to Newsday on Friday George said, “it’s something that just happened, it wasn’t something that was expected especially even after everything was cleared to be fully functional after the inspections.”

He said the jet cover was checked during the inspection of the vessel before it was put into service and all brackets were intact.

“We have to remember the vessel has just done thousands of miles coming from Spain to Trinidad. It’s not a case of lack of inspection. It's one of those things that has happened and has caused us inconvenience. That is being dealt with and even so after it is repaired it will be tested before the vessel gets back into service.”

He said an entire inspection of the vessel would be done and special attention would be paid to all electrical wires in the engine room, all the jet covers and tunnels to the jets, and additional temporary brackets would be installed on the covers.

“These precautionary measures will be taken to ensure there is not a breach of the watertightness of that water jet in the future.”

George said the repairs would be done at no cost to the Government and workers on the vessels would carry out the repairs.

“The repair people come from the supplier of the vessel. They have a contract with them and they are responsible to carry out supervision of the vessel.”

“Yes, we have to pay a certain amount of money (34,500 Euros or $263,580) per day to lease the vessel, and the contract will deal with any situation where the vessel cannot be used by no fault of the charter. If it is the fault of the owner, then the contract will take care of that.

"What we want to focus on is getting the vessel back on stream.”

During Thursday’s 4 pm sailing to Tobago, a broken jet cover bracket affected the function of the jet cover and forced the captain to return to Port of Spain.

In a release on Friday, Nidco explained a technical team identified that the alert was in respect to jet tunnel number 2.

Repairs on the Jean del la Valette are expected to be completed on Saturday and the vessel will return to service.

Both the T&T Spirit and the Galleons Passage continue to operate to ensure there is no disruption in the sea bridge service.

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