Latest update March 24th, 2023 12:59 AM
Dec 30, 2015 News
Transport and Harbours Department (TH&D) Chinese built Motor Vessel (M.V) Kanawan is back in operation, after encountering mechanical problems on Sunday.
TH&D officials confirmed yesterday, that the Roll On-Roll Off ferry, which was gifted to the Guyana Government in 2011, has been back to work since Monday morning.
General Manager of the Transport and Harbours Department, Marcelene Merchant, told this newspaper the vessel is back to its regular schedule after the minor incident on Sunday.
The passenger ferry malfunctioned again on Sunday while it was enroute to Supenaam, Essequibo, following its departure from Parika.
The “heavily laden ferry” is said to have departed Parika Stelling at around 12:00 hours carrying some 255 passengers and 42 vehicles on board.
But while in the vicinity of the Chalmers Area, Essequibo, the boat’s overboard water suction through which water enters to cool the main engines became blocked with sediments. Kaieteur News understands that consequently, the engine began overheating, subsequently shutdown.
TH&D reported that ensuing efforts to clear the suction pipes and restart the engines proved futile. As a result, the Department personnel at the Parika Stelling were contacted.
They immediately chartered and dispatched six water taxis from Parika to transport the passengers onboard to the Parika Stelling. The vessel with the vehicles on board was later towed to Parika.
“In spite of this unfortunate incident, the officials of the department worked relentlessly to ensure that the passengers were always safe.” TH&D said in the release.
The department also noted that according to their investigations thus far, there is no evidence that the Captain was under the influence of alcohol as reported in some sections of the media.”
Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, has since joined the General Manager of the Transport & Harbours Department Marcelene Merchant to express their regret about the incident.
The officials reaffirmed their commitment to preventing the recurrences of such incidents.
Just last year, the two Chinese ferries, the MV Sabanto and the MV Kanawan, faced a series of misfortunes.
In April, 2014 a truck transporting goods to Supenaam rolled off the Kanawan and sank in the Essequibo river; a few months later the Captain of sister vessel MV Sabanto lost control of the ferry and it ran aground at Wakenaam. The vessel was grounded for a number of days.
Earlier this year, Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson, disclosed the two ferries which currently ply the Parika/Supenaam route generate insufficient to cover the operating cost, particularly their fuel for the daily trips.
As such, the Transport and Harbours Department of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure is tasked with applying a large portion of its budgetary allocations to ensure the continued service provided by these two vessels.
The Minister disclosed that while the department is supplied with an annual budget of about $400M, the majority is used for the two ferries. This works out to just about $30M monthly.
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