With tropical storm Dorian threatening Barbados, boat owners at Oistins say they are concerned about the fate of their vessels.
This morning boat owners told Barbados TODAY that years of begging for crane equipment have fallen on deaf ears and they have once again been forced to dock their vessels at the crowded Bridgetown Fisheries Complex.
One such owner, Steven Bourne, complained that the facility at Bridgetown was full since yesterday and more boats were taken down this morning, which would inevitably result in the tightly-packed boats crashing into each other once the seas become rough.
“We already carried the boats down to the fishing complex in Bridgetown since yesterday. There were also a few that went down this morning. Right now, you got to be worried about overcrowding. Yesterday it was full and other boats gone in today again and that makes it worse. With all them boats close together and rubbing against one another when the surge gets bad, you could only imagine what would happen,” said Bourne.
His position was backed by fellow fishermen at the Berinda Cox Fish Market, one revealing that his frustration has gotten to the point that he would be trying to sell his boat, should it survive the passage of Dorian.
Bourne pointed out that successive administrations have failed to deliver on a promise to provide crane facilities. Added to that, the cost of hiring a private contractor was prohibitive, sometimes as much as $7000 to take the boat out and then later put it back into the water.
“If we had equipment here to haul out boats, there would be no need for so many boats to go down to Bridgetown. I know one of mine would have been on the beach and other persons would have done the same. To pay to bring a boat out of the water is very expensive. It cost about $3500 to bring it here and then the same amount to get it back in the water. So many of us had to rule that out and we had to hope to face it out in Bridgetown,” Bourne lamented.
“We have been begging for this for many years. They came and bought surveyors and they do everything, but nothing never happened, Bourne added. “A crane came in here since about 2007 and they say it was for Oistins and that has been down there so long that I don’t even know if it still works.” (CM)