The National Infrastructure Development Company (NIDCO) is awaiting a report to determine what led the Carnival Runner water taxi to partially sink at King’s Wharf, San Fernando.
Yesterday, NIDCO’s chairman Herbert George confirmed to Guardian Media that an investigation had been launched to ascertain what caused the 41-metre catamaran to collect water last Monday, causing the stern of the vessel to sink while anchored at the wharf.
“I have not requested an investigation. Once something like this happens the investigation is automatic. And then a report is generated. From the report, one can see what caused it and determine what steps you must take in going forward.”
That report, George said, is still pending and he could not say when it will be submitted to him.
Carnival Runner was one of four catamarans purchased by NIDCO in August 2010 from Global Shipbuilder Austal to facilitate transportation between Port-of-Spain to San Fernando.
The four vessels reportedly cost the government $430 million.
Asked if a decision had been taken to sell the decade-old Carnival Runner, George said the four boats were purchased based on Government’s request.
“We have been operating the vessels. If it is now that they want to reduce their fleet they will have to come back to us and tell us, well sell one… sell two. But that decision has not been made,” George insisted.
Giving an update on the vessel, George said all the water had been pumped out and repairs are still ongoing.
Daily inspections, he said, have also been taking place to ensure the vessel is not compromised.
“It continues to be laid up because there are some repairs to be done not because of the taking in of water…..from engineer work and so on to be done.”
George added, “They have to go down and tell us what exactly caused the breach. Was it a plug that was dislodged? You know, that type of information I don’t have it as yet.”
Of the four catamarans, George said Carnival Runner and another vessel were not in use due to a reduction in passenger traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic.