PATT official: Black smoke in PoS not from route ferries

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - 17:00

The two fast fer­ries that op­er­ate the seabridge be­tween Trinidad and To­ba­go con­tin­ues to func­tion as nor­mal.


This was the as­sur­ance giv­en yes­ter­day by of­fi­cials who sought to re­as­sure the trav­el­ling pub­lic that the plume of black smoke that was seen com­ing from be­hind the Port-of-Spain wharf around 9.30 am yes­ter­day, did not em­anate from one of the ves­sels cur­rent­ly ser­vic­ing the route.

A se­nior of­fi­cial con­firmed: “It was the ex­haust from the T&T Spir­it.”

The Spir­it was re­moved from the route sched­ule on Au­gust 1, in or­der to for dry-dock­ing works to be car­ried out.

In a re­lease on Au­gust 7, the Port Au­thor­i­ty of T&T (PATT) ad­vised the ves­sel would be tak­en out of ser­vice by the man­age­ment of the Trinidad and To­ba­go In­ter-is­land Trans­porta­tion Com­pa­ny Lim­it­ed (TTIT) to, “Un­der­go its statu­to­ry main­te­nance pro­gramme, which will com­mence ini­tial­ly at the har­bor and lat­er at Cari­doc, Ch­aguara­mas.”


It stressed that it was nec­es­sary to, “En­sure op­ti­mum per­for­mance of the ves­sel.”

Dur­ing the pe­ri­od of the T&T Spir­it’s dry-dock­ing, the Jean De La Valette (JDLV) and the Galleons Pas­sage have both con­tin­ued to ser­vice the in­ter-is­land sea bridge.

PATT of­fi­cials said the JDLV does not sail to Trinidad, from To­ba­go, on a Wednes­day as it un­der­goes rou­tine main­te­nance at the Scar­bor­ough port; while the Galleons Pas­sage left Port-of-Spain yes­ter­day at its’ sched­uled time of 9 am.

Of­fi­cials said the 26-sec­ond video clip post­ed to so­cial me­dia by a mo­torist head­ing in­to the cap­i­tal and claim­ing the smoke was com­ing from the newest fer­ry was mis­lead­ing and mis­chie­vous.

The T&T Spir­it was pur­chased at a cost of US $60 mil­lion and com­mis­sioned in­to ser­vice in Ju­ly 2007.

The ves­sel boasts a pas­sen­ger ca­pac­i­ty of 765, and a ve­hi­cle ca­pac­i­ty of 200 - with an av­er­age sail­ing time of four hours

In June 2017, the T&T Spir­it was tak­en off the sea bridge for an ini­tial month of main­te­nance work. I

t took al­most a year be­fore it was re­turned to the route - in April 2018 - fol­low­ing sev­er­al failed sea tri­als when it came off dry-dock with an es­ti­mat­ed US $8 mil­lion in re­pairs.

In De­cem­ber 2018, sail­ings of the T&T Spir­it were can­celled for an in­def­i­nite pe­ri­od of time af­ter of­fi­cials claimed a cracked crankcase had led to the ves­sel be­ing pulled out of ser­vice.

Reporter: Anna-Lisa Paul