Saturday 31 October, 2020

T&T Spirit cleared after bomb scare

File photo.

File photo.

Citizens who use the inter-island ferry service are being assured that all is well following a bomb scare on the T&T Spirit which delayed the sailing of the vessel on Monday morning.

Speaking with LoopTT, Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan confirmed that there was a bomb scare but assured that all protocols were followed to ensure the safety of all on board.

“The threat was taken very seriously. We have protocols we have to follow. The Police and the Fire Service were called in. The vessel was disembarked…the vessel was certified again and the passengers were allowed to board.”

Sinanan also expressed concern about the timing of the bomb scare given the fact that there have been no major issues on the inter-island sea bridge for some time.

“To come now after we have had such a smooth running of the sea bridge for months now to have a bomb scare at the same time when all these things that are happening?”

The Minister said it was coincidental that only yesterday there was an attack on the Port Authority by THA Minority Leader Watson Duke in relation to the arrival of the Jean De La Valette.

He said there have also been individuals who have been making their rounds on television stations and “putting their opinions” on the sea bridge.

Sinanan said while he was not casting any aspersions on any individuals or groups, it appeared that there were some who were set on creating mischief with the arrival of the new vessel to service the sea bridge.

“My opinion is that there are people who are hellbent on ensuring that the confidence in the (sea) bridge is never returned to serve their own interest … their motive seems to be to disrupt the sea bridge … It is just coincidental that all of this happened at the same time to give the impression that the sea bridge is not reliable.”

The Minister also gave an update on the preparations for the Jean De La Valette, stating that things are going according to plan.

“So far everything progressing as planned. The crew is being utilised to keep the vessel in the condition it is in once we decide to start the route. The local crew is being briefed on the vessel.

The vessel is going through the relevant certifications with the Maritime Division.”

He said the vessel is expected to be brought into service well before the T&T Spirit is drydocked for maintenance.

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