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PM to Rohan, PATT: Fix sea bridge transport

Friday, August 11, 2017

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has appealed to all those responsible for inter-island transport to fix the sea bridge transport woes.

Rowley said this yesterday in a release from the Office of the Prime Minister.

The release follows the termination of the contract for the Ocean Flower 2, a passenger ferry, which was expected to service the inter-island route between Scarborough and Port-of-Spain.

The contract was terminated amid allegations of wrongdoing and repeated delays in the vessel arriving in the country.

Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan and the Port Authority are responsible for inter-island transport.

Rowley asked that efforts be redoubled, without “compromising principles and within all contractual safeguards.”

In an apology to citizens affected by the failure to properly service the route, Rowley described the unsuccessful attempt to find a replacement passenger ferry as a matter of “great disappointment” to him the majority of Tobagonians who rely on the service for their comfort and livelihood.

Rowley said the Government was not unmindful of the plight of citizens and was currently engaged in making all reasonable efforts to remedy the situation in the short term.

“I understand the efforts made by those charged with the responsibility and the particular difficulties which they faced in the process at the time when the port sought a vessel which we all anticipated would have been on the route by this time.”

The Ocean Flower 2 and the Cabo Star, a cargo vessel, were leased from Bridgemans Services Group after the non-renewal of the MV Superfast Galicia in April.

Tobago hoteliers said the inability to provide a reliable sea bridge transport had left a projected $25m in losses.