Herbert George, chairman of the National Infrastructure Development Co Ltd (Nidco), said TT had received its full payment for the TT Express before it was taken away to its new owner in Spain, so the sinking of the vessel does not affect its sale.
The vessel was sold to Servicios y Concesiones Maritimas Ibicenca, a bookings, transportation, and vehicle rentals maritime company in Spain owned by a company named Trasmapi, for US$3 million.
In March Nidco announced the shipping company had already paid a 50 per cent deposit.
Contacted on Tuesday, George told Newsday, “The downpayment at the time was made. Subsequently they paid in full and then they took delivery of the vessel, as is, where is, from Trinidad and Tobago. They were on their way to Spain, there was a mishap and the vessel sank.”
The country said goodbye to the boat on April 11.
Days before it was expected to arrive at the port of Vigo, Spain, The TT Express sank 800 miles off the Azores while being transported by a tugboat owned by a Portuguese company Rebonave.
From Vigo it was to have been delivered to its new owner by May 3.
It’s reported that sometime on Saturday Rebonave informed Trasmapi of an issue, and in a second call it reported that the vessel had sunk.
Trasmapi told its local media that the TT Express was bought to return to service and expand its capacity. The company is investigating the sinking,but it’s believed that the strong winds, heavy rain, and high waves of Storm Lola over Spain, during the weekend, may have swallowed up the vessel.
George said he is still disappointed that the new owner wouldn't have the opportunity to enjoy the use of the ferry as the people of TT did.
“I feel for that owner. He would have paid for it and made all his plans for it, and it has come to nothing. I’m not overwhelmed in feeling as others might have been, but I do for the owner.”
Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan also described the event as “very unfortunate.” He told Newsday the vessel will be remembered as one of the first catamaran ferries the country acquired. “It introduced us into the world of fast, efficient, and reliable interisland service.”