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Marine litter causes Fast Ferry delay

Marine litter causes Fast Ferry delay

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by Stanton Gomes Fri, Dec 9. 2011

The Fast Ferry MV Jaden Sun pulled out of the Clifton Harbour, Union Island, on its usual Monday morning schedule destined to Kingstown, St Vincent.{{more}}

The ferry departed at 7:00 am sharp and passengers soon were comfortable, with some persons having their breakfast from the onboard cafeteria. It seemed to be a normal morning with residents and visitors to the Grenadines make a routine trip to the mainland.

After just about 5 minutes into the trip, passengers knew that there was something wrong with the boat, after it slowed down and slight vibrations were felt. The Captain soon announced on the public intercom that the engines had probably picked up something and they would have to return to Clifton.

It was quite impressive to witness the vessel’s emergency procedures put into action. Within seconds, after docking at the Clifton Wharf, the crew donned scuba gear, and the divers then began the challenging task of fixing the problem underwater as persons on the wharf looked on in amazement.

Ferry Captain Elvis Gooding seemed worried when one of the divers reported that the problem looked bad. However, the suspense quickly broke when the divers pulled huge chunks of what appeared to be mangrove branches from one of the suction jets.

The entire operation was completed in just under 15 minutes and the ferry once again pulled out at around 7:25am, which demonstrated the company’s ability to provide a reliable and safe service to its passengers.

For the passengers in Union, Mayreau, Canouan and Bequia, this piece of marine litter could have caused a major inconvenience, and for the owners of the fast ferry, this could have cost them thousands of dollars in expenses. Marine litter is life threatening to the sea life, especially turtles, and also causes damage to reefs and coastlines, which can have a negative impact on tourism.

Gooding extended a plea for residents and water operators to be proactive on the issue of marine litter and to recognize the negative impact it can have across all sectors. A simple act of removing items seen floating in waters will contribute to a cleaner and safer St Vincent and the Grenadines.

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