‘Harbour Master’ on dry dock after sea drama
By LEISELLE MARAJ Tuesday, August 20 2013
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Coast Guardsmen assist passengers to disembark a Coast Guard vessel yesterday morning at the back of the Hyatt hotel after they had been rescued from ...
Popular party boat Harbour Master will be on dry dock for four days at most to inspect the hull after the ship ran aground on an artificial reef on Sunday afternoon.
Over 540 passengers were aboard the vessel and partying for about 90 minutes when it ran into the reef made up of sunken vessels that was placed in the ocean as a break-water for the Port of Port-of-Spain.
Boat-owner Adrian Scoon said the Coast Guard was contacted and officers inspected the vessel and deemed it safe. The Coast Guard also assisted in ferrying passengers from the boat to safety.
He said at about 12 am Monday, the boat was able to be moved off the reef and to its dock in Cocorite. While the hull was not punctured, the ship would be on dry dock so that it could be inspected for any damage. Scoon said this would not impact on the ship’s sailing schedule and it would be available for parties during the coming weekend.
In an effort to avoid similar incidents in the future, Scoon said he was assured by authorities that beacons would be placed in shallow areas to warn sailors.
“That is the route we usually take every weekend. It is very unfortunate that the tide was low. We would not use the route until there are beacons to properly indicate where these shallow areas are,” he said.
Scoon said despite the incident on Sunday, patrons continued to party until they were “rescued” by the Coast Guard. He said if the situation was worse, the Harbour Master was prepared to handle it. No party boat could sail without the proper sailing and safety measures in place, he said.
He said the boat has a maritime licence for 650 persons and is equipped with life-jackets for 850 persons.
He added that he and his crew also work closely with the Coast Guard to ensure the boat and its patrons are safe and he thanked the National Security arm for its assistance on Sunday.