PORT OF SPAIN — Party boat, the Harbour Master, will be dry-docked and inspected this week to ensure that no serious damage was sustained when it ran aground on Sunday, owner Adrian Scoon has said.
The process, which is expected to take four days, is a statutory requirement and discussions are currently taking place with promoters to determine the way forward for events scheduled for that period.
Events booked for next week are on, Scoon said.
A preliminary inspection done by officials from the Maritime Services Division of the Ministry of Transport following the incident has not shown any serious damage to the vessel.
Around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, while a party was going on aboard the Harbour Master, the vessel ran aground.
Scoon said the area where the incident occurred was on the regular channel used by the boat. The depth is 500 feet.
Low tide caused the vessel to come to a standstill atop a sunken ship, Scoon said.
The Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard responded and rescued more than 540 passengers from the boat.
“We usually take that channel but because the tide was very low the boat basically got stuck on top of an old boat that got sunk, so as soon as the tide rose and the patrons came off, we just sailed off,” Scoon said.
The Harbour Master sailed back to its regular dock in Cocorite around 11 p.m.
Officials of the Maritime Services Division conducted a preliminary inspection of the vessel around 5 a.m. yesterday.
“They checked the hull to make sure there was no damage to the vessel,” Scoon said.
Scoon said Sunday’s incident showed that the Harbour Master was prepared to handle any eventuality.
“There was no overloading of passengers, we really and truly could have held more patrons than that.”
He said the Harbour Master has life jackets and life rafts to accommodate 850 people. He said the party boat usually has a maximum capacity of 650.
“Maritime (Services Division) would not allow you to sail unless you have the proper mechanisms in place,” Scoon said. (Express)