Opposition Leader Mia Mottley led a team of Barbados Labour Party (BLP) representatives into the north island today to see how fisherfolk were faring, amid dangerously high sea swells.
Barbados TODAY caught up with the three-member team, which also included St James Central Kerrie Symmonds and the party’s St Peter candidate Colin Jordan, at Six Men’s, St Peter this afternoon, where Jordan explained that the purpose of the visit was to assess the damage caused by the unusually high currents.
“We came out because we believe that representatives of the people need to see first hand what is going on. Even though it is a natural occurrence we are still coming out to see if there has been any major damage.
“Basically we are assessing the situation and seeing how people are faring,” Jordan said, adding that “it hasn’t been anything major”.
However, for the past two days, boat operators, including Brian Gibson, have basically been grounded, as a high surf advisory and small craft warning remains in effect for Barbados.
“The waves have been affecting me in the sense that I can’t go out to work. There is nothing I can do about that. Yes, I will lose some money for the days but it is out of my control,” he told Barbados TODAY, explaining that while high waves were normal at this time of year, yesterday’s swells were unusually vicious.
Caretaker of the Paynes Bay Fish Market Charles Belgrave agreed.
In fact, he reported that one fibre glass vessel, which was station there, was destroyed by the monster swells, which also took away much of the sand from the beaches.
“Yesterday the boat was tied here at the market and because of the waves it basically just disappeared into the sea with the roughness of the water. Only bits and pieces are left now,” he said, adding that “it is not easy to lose a boat”.
Belgrave stressed that the sea conditions which he saw yesterday were outside of the norm for this time of year.
“The sea yesterday was really rough. It is Mother Nature, but all the water was coming all into the road and stuff. It was really bad, but yet I have seen worse,” he said.
Choppy waters which caused large waves and hazardous rip currents were also the order of the day at Six Men’s.
And while some sea bathers and surfers were spotted attempting to ride the monster waves, one fisherman, who asked not to be identified, also complained of not being able to work due to the unfriendly waters.
“I wasn’t able to go out and work yesterday. When I came out and I saw the water I made up in my mind that I wasn’t put out my boat because of the high waves. It put a stop on my income for yesterday and today,” he said while pointing out that the water was still very high.
“I really hope the sea become calm after Thursday so I can go out and get some fish,” he added.
Also impacted by the rough sea conditions was fish vendor Lucina Skeete, who described the waves as “horrible”. She also wants things to return to normal so the fishermen can head back out to sea and bring in their catch so she can make some money.