Statement by Chief Secretary Hon. Kelvin Charles Re: Water Taxi Incident on Tuesday 27th March, 2018

I am quite saddened and sorry that passengers had to endure the mishap that took place on the H.S.C. Trini Flash water taxi on the night of Tuesday 27 March, 2018, en route to Trinidad. The National Infrastructure Development Company (NIDCO), charged with responsibility for the Water Taxi service, has confirmed that this incident was as a result of a fire that took place in the ceiling of the engine room.

I deeply empathize with all travelers who were aboard this vessel as I could only imagine how frightening the experience was for all. I am extremely thankful that all passengers are safe and were taken out of danger and I commend the staff on board the vessel for their swift action, which ensured the safety of all passengers and staff on board the water taxi.

Secretary of Health, Wellness and Family Development, Dr. Agatha Carrington, has confirmed that a trauma response team was on site at the Scarborough Port to receive the passengers, who were transferred to the Cabo Star. Six passengers were taken to the Scarborough General Hospital and subsequently discharged after receiving medical attention at the Accident and Emergency Unit.

The Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (PATT) has confirmed that passengers were accommodated at guest houses in Tobago at their expense and arrangements were made with Caribbean Airlines to ensure that passengers were accommodated on the 6.40 a.m. and 7.10 a.m. flights to Trinidad this morning (March 28).

Once again I am grateful that all lives are safe and I commend all for the level of pro-activeness and professionalism that was employed to ensure that this incident was dealt with in a timely manner and further discomfort to passengers minimized.

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