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No more boat rides for Corke

No more boat rides for Corke

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Brenda Corke, the Sion Hill woman who was reported missing onboard the distressed MV Study Us and then found, says the crew was never rescued as reported. {{more}}

The speculator of 10 years who was onboard MV Study Us, stressed that hours after dropping the anchor, the crew signalled the attention of fishermen aboard a fishing boat who demanded the sum of $3,000 to take the MV Study Us’ crew to shore.

The mother of six said captain Bernard Hayling and another Grenadian then opted to sail to shore aboard one of the vessel’s dinghies and came back with the police on a police vessel.

Bernard Hayling, the captain of the MV Study Us, confirmed this, even as he recounted that the Grenada registered vessel, which had drifted 13 days with seven Vincentians aboard, had been destroyed.

He disclosed this on Wednesday via a telephone call from his Grenada home. Hayling said he shared ownership of the boat with his Grenadian counterpart Patrick Blaze.

Of interest is the disclosure by Hayling that the boat was not fully insured.

He said he and Blaze lost EC$140,000 when MV Study Us burst its anchor and smashed against rocks in the Dominican Republic.

This incident happened on December 17, approximately 16 hours after the vessel anchored on the Dominican Republic coastline and mere hours after the 15-member crew, which also included six Grenadians and two Dutch nationals, touched dry land. He said it would have cost EC$12,000 to insure the boat but the owners had managed to raise only half the amount.

Hayling said that after sighting land for the first time in days, on December 17, he anchored the boat at about 2 a.m., but by 6 p.m. the boat had been destroyed.

He said the goods on board were washed ashore and claimed by residents on the nearby beach.

The MV Study Us left St. Vincent and the Grenadines on December 4 destined for St. Maarten but developed engine problems after its impeller went bad. Hayling said his efforts in getting a new impeller and batteries in the Dominican Republic were futile because he never got back to the ship on time to install the equipment, after spending most of the time answering questions from police.

For Corke, it was her second mishap at sea, an experience she described as frightening. “Thoughts came to my mind that I wasn’t coming back to land again and as I prayed and cried, I often thought how my children was doing.”

In 2000 she drifted aboard the boat Progress for two days off St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The crew then received help from a plane who notified the Coast Guard. Three years later the Progress sank.

Corke plans to use her experience as a learning one: “I will take a break for now but if I have to traffic again I will shift the load with the boat and travel with the plane.”

On Friday, December 24, Corke, Fitzroy Prince, Reinford Delpeche, Catherine Richardson, Lena Hazelwood, Cyril Alexander, and Junior Polson were safely returned to St. Vincent and the Grenadines following the intervention of government officials.