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Dumas: Poor boat tired

Published: 
Thursday, September 21, 2017

Following a marathon journey from Korea and six other stops, the controversial Ocean Flower 2 vessel is now in Chaguaramas for dry docking services.

The reason was given in a letter from Ken Shipping and Marine (KSM) company to Immigration authorities, Joint Select Committee member Wade Mark revealed yesterday. KSM is local agent for the Canadian firm Bridgemans Services, which owns and operates the vessel.

However, former public service head Reginald Dumas says whether there are other reasons for the vessel’s presence here should be clarified by Works Minister Rohan Sinanan or the vessel’s shippers.

After issues with the Ocean Flower II in recent months, Works Minister Rohan Sinanan said the contract was cancelled. But at the JSC session two weeks ago, Bridgemans Services vice president Andrew Purdey said the firm was still hoping to work with the Port Authority and Ministry for a”co-operative outcome.”

Yesterday JSC member Rushton Paray announced, “As we speak, the OF2 is in Chaguaramas.”

Mark then read a September 8 letter from KSM, signed by Lester Kenny, notifying Immigration that the Ocean Flower 2 was expected in T&T on September 12 at 9.30 for dry docking. It said the vessel has a 13-member crew and its last port of call was Curacao.

Dumas, appearing before the JSC yesterday, also said he’d heard the vessel was in Chaguaramas. He said he’d traced the vessel’s journey from Korea to Japan to several places in Alaska, then Mexico, Panama and Curacao, on shipping sites.

“The poor boat tired - it probably needs dry docking and other things,” Dumas added.

Questioning if it would be placed on the ferry service eventually, Dumas said explanations from Kenny or Sinanan were needed. He reiterated calls for Sinanan and the Port board to resign over the ferry crisis. He said he didn’t need a report to tell him there were severe defects where due diligence on the issue was concerned, plus there was a callous approach to people’s welfare, especially Tobagonians.

Dumas said he, like Tobagonians, accepted the Prime Minister’s apology on the service, but the PM’s complaint about people publicising pictures of empty Tobago shelves didn’t sit well with many Tobagonians.