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Tug and barge still stranded in Fowl Cay protected park will likely face penalties

BARGE and tug boat encountered rough seas while on their way to deliver pea rock to Baker’s Bay ending up stranded on the reef in the Man-O-War Cay channel.

BARGE and tug boat encountered rough seas while on their way to deliver pea rock to Baker’s Bay ending up stranded on the reef in the Man-O-War Cay channel.

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Chief Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE owners of a vessel stuck in a protected area of Abaco will likely face penalties, according to Department of Environmental Planning and Protection director Dr Rhianna Neely-Murphy.

After experiencing rough seas enroute to Baker’s Bay, Abaco, in late March, a barge and tugboat got stuck in Fowl Cay’s National Park, a protected area managed by the Bahamas National Trust.

The incident prompted area residents to rescue about six people.

The barge sits atop a coral reef and the tugboat remains partially sunken.

Dr Neely-Murphy confirmed environmental damage, but she declined to give further details.

She said bad weather, among other challenges, has hindered efforts to remove the vessels.

She said another vessel capable of removing the barge is needed.

“Once they were able to identify a suitable company with the equipment to assist, then we had to confirm a plan of action that would minimise further damage to the reef,” she said. “All of this took some time.”

Abaco residents continue to express concerns about the vessels’ impact on coral reefs and the length of time it is taking to remove the vessels.

Meanwhile, Acting Port Controller Lieutenant Commander Berne Wright said port officials had told the vessels’ owners they want the boats removed as soon as possible, but he could not say when this would happen.

“We want it gone and as quickly as it can be removed safely, that is what will happen,” he told The Tribune yesterday.

“What you may determine to be a beautiful day doesn’t mean that it’s good weather in the maritime field,” he added. “You also have swells. You have waves. You have wind, so, yes, looking from the shore you may say oh, wow, that is great, but to execute that type of operation, no, it may not be favourable.”

Comments

regrolli 2 months, 1 week ago

Why are the owners and operators of the tug not being named? Are they foreign? No proper justice in the Bahamas; time to name and shame.

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