MARAD may take over capsized ‘Miss Elliza’
Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) may soon have to assume responsibility for the capsized cargo vessel that is now positioned some distance away from where it turned over west of the Demerara ships channel, Port Georgetown Harbour, more than two weeks ago.
The vessel earlier last week drifted with the high tide and is now positioned behind the Guyana National Shipping Corporation.
Officials of the marine institute told Kaieteur News yesterday that talks are to be held with the boat owner Vijai Sankar.
The issue of salvaging the vessel is expected to be discussed. It was however noted that Maritime Administration is likely to take charge of the boat if the owner abandons it.
MARAD Director General, Claudette Rogers, told this publication that the necessary actions are being carefully thought out before any action is taken to salvage the boat.
The director said that currently, any attempts to move or raise the boat will be done with the permission of the Maritime authorities as the vessel is now being treated as a wreck.
Rogers said that the capsized vessel is being given special attention by the administration and approaches to salvage the boat are under review.
Rogers added that a task which surrounds salvaging the overturned boat must be approached with caution.
She advised that to save the boat, a technical approach would be required, whilst careful planning and certain skills are required to perform the task.
Rogers said that it is unclear what may be the boat owner’s next step hence the meeting with the Habour Master.
She also said that if the owner abandons the boat it will become the property of Maritime Administration which will be tasked to deal with the drifting vessel.
During a previous interview with the owner of the capsized Miss Ellisa, Vijai Sankar, he said that a Trinidadian team had been brought to Guyana to conduct evaluation works on salvaging the boat.
Kaieteur News later leant that efforts to salvage the boat may cost at least $30M. Yesterday Rogers said that it would take in excess of that sum to salvage the boat. Sankar had said to this newspaper that on conclusion of the Trinidadian’s probe, he would decide what to do with the boat.
He further said that the Ministry of Works offered to assist in salvaging the boat but if the sum was too hefty for him to pay, “then the boat might be staying in the river.”
When asked, Rogers said that she didn’t believe that the drifting vessel which moved up river posed any danger to water traffic.
The director said that had that been the case, the administration would have taken the necessary steps. Rogers said that the job of the administration would now be to issue an advisory to inform of the new position of the vessel.
Apart from that, the vessel is equipped with a buoy which demarks the cargo boats location to passing vessels.
There has however been no sign of missing cook 67-year-old Gerald Fraser. The body of the veteran who reportedly went back inside the boat for a haversack is still to be recovered.
On June 8, the cargo boat Miss Ellisa was headed to Trinidad and Tobago with millions of dollars worth of trader goods when an apparent imbalance of the articles on board, caused the boat to tilt and later capsize.
The boat captain told reporters that as soon as the vessel left Muneshwer’s wharf the crew noticed the imbalance and they tried to return to the port but the boat started to lean on its starboard and within seconds it overturned. Those onboard quickly abandoned ship. They were rescued by water taxi operators.