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This country will one day learn the hard way that it must not play the fool with the lives of people. I refer to the frequent breakdowns of the ferries to Tobago and on occasions having to turn back, of ferries being run on one engine and of the apparent inability of the “new managers” of the service to adequately maintain the ferries.
It is my view that the existing conditions surrounding the ferries are placing passengers and crew at risk. I wonder as to why the representative trade union has not raised its voice in public protest and in addition why those in charge of maritime activities and in particular safety are silent on the matter. I expect that the response of the authorities to this assertion of mine will be met with denials and the excuse that it is all political.
In the circumstances which continue to prevail I ask the following questions.
1. How many times have the ferries to Tobago broken down since the Bay Ferries contract came to an end?
2. What are the cause(s) of the breakdowns since the Bay Ferries contract came to an end?
3. Was any training done by Bay Ferries to ensure that locals/nationals would have been able to manage and maintain the service and if so who were the persons trained and in what aspects of the operations?
4. Was training of locals/nationals a part of the contract with Bay Ferries and was it monitored and implemented?
5. Who are person(s) or company currently in charge of maintenance and engineering of the ferries and what is the experience of the firm or individuals in this regard?
6. Have the ferries been undergoing their scheduled annual maintenance and if so what dates and records are available to prove the same
The nation must not take lightly the matter of the state of reliability of the ferries to Tobago.
There must be more than a passing attitude of responsibility for the safety of passengers and crew. Our citizens deserve nothing but the best and above all a safe and reliable service.
Surujrattan Rambachan
Member of Parliament for Tabaquite


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