Engine  trouble docks SVG’s lone fast ferry service
December 20, 2013
Engine trouble docks SVG’s lone fast ferry service

Travel from the mainland to the Grenadines and back has hit a speed bump, with the loss of this country’s lone fast ferry service.{{more}}

Last week, management of the Jaden Sun announced on their Facebook page and website that the fast ferry, which seats more than 200 persons, would be “out of service, until further notice.”

When SEARCHLIGHT contacted Jaden Inc this week, the ship’s director Cashena Gooding reported that this interruption in the schedule was due to the loss of one of the vessel’s two engines.

Gooding explained that on Monday, December 9, the vessel developed engine troubles while on its routine trip to Bequia, and had to return to St Vincent.

“The reality of the situation is that we are going to need a new engine. Sourcing it might not be such a hard thing because we have a source,” Gooding explained.

“We are now to get financing to pay for this engine. Believe it or not, it could run over one million EC dollars…. It’s a very expensive venture.”

Gooding said that since the ferry came into service in August 2010, it has been a source of easier transportation, taking twenty minutes from St Vincent to Bequia, and between one and a half hours to two hours to Union Island, with stops at the other islands (Canouan, and Mayreau).

According to Gooding, the loss of the vessel, especially at this time of year, puts a damper on transportation among the islands in the Grenadines, not only for the locals, but also for tourists.

She said that the company has already received requests from overseas for its schedule for 2014 and beyond.

“I am hoping that the problem can be rectified before that time….

“Right now we are looking for a miracle because at this time of the year… it is the Christmas season and we have a high season and a low season, and the high season started from the first of December and then that happened on the 9th, so we didn’t really get to take advantage of the high season.”

Gooding said that the management is doing all it can to have the matter rectified in a speedy time, but is not certain as to how soon this might be.

She apologised on behalf of the company for the inconvenience caused.

“It was no fault of anybody. It was not something to say somebody didn’t do their job… this is one of the downsides of having a boat like Jaden Sun,” she said. (JJ)