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The police were called to ease tensions at the dock in Barbuda yesterday after approximately 200 Caribana revellers who were scheduled to return to Antigua aboard The Excellence realised that they had been left stranded.
Police officers on the scene confirmed to OBSERVER media that The Excellence had broken down since yesterday morning after it had returned to Antigua.
“It didn’t return and we don’t know what’s wrong with it. It had to come to work for Caribana to bring people back and forth between Antigua and Barbuda. The Barbuda Express is trying to assist in making extra trips but it can only carry about 60 people at a time and about 200 people are stranded. Some will get back to Antigua but definitely, some will have to stay in Barbuda because the Express [couldn’t] carry anyone after 7 pm,” one officer said.
Meanwhile, passengers on the ground, who would have paid their return fares in advance, expressed frustration in what they call poor communication from the management of The Excellence.

One woman said that she and her friends were left stranded and they were unsure about whether or not accommodations for an overnight stay on the sister island were actually booked.
“I came in on The Excellence this morning. They said they’re leaving at one, they’re going to go and come back at five to go back to Antigua but that did not happen. We actually heard that we were supposed to get a guest house but that’s what they said,” the woman said on behalf of her frustrated friends.
A very hungry and angry man, along with his friends said that The Excellence told them that alternatives would be found, but given the capacity, he believes that the government should intervene.
“The Barbuda ferry is going to come back and they’re going to get a cargo boat. That’s what they say but we’re not sure about that and we need to get home. We were trying to see if we could get in contact with the Prime Minister so that he could send the Coast Guard for us,” he said.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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