By Shermain Bique-Charles
Luxury ferry Island Escape returned to servicing Barbuda yesterday morning after fixing the steering anomaly which led to its collision with a cruise ship in St John’s port last week.
The 150-passenger fast vessel had been back in operation providing transport to and from the sister isle for just a couple of weeks when it struck the visiting AIDAluna passenger ship on December 6.
As an additional safety measure, new jet sensors were also installed to the Island Escape followed by testing and a sea trial with government inspectors in attendance.
The starboard hull, which was slightly damaged by the incident, was also repaired to the inspectors’ satisfaction.
“I am really excited. I think it’s a very important link between the islands. We had departed for a period of time and all was well going into the holiday season. We are back up at a time when people are in a festive move. This is good news,” the ferry’s owner, Captain Mark Rosandich, told Observer.
The cost of the ferry’s repairs totted up to US$7,000.
The company has since implemented an emergency action plan, as mandated by the Department of Marine Services (ADOMS).
The company which operates the AIDAluna has been contacted for comment.
Island Escape previously held the contract taking construction workers from Antigua to Barbuda’s Peace, Love and Happiness (PLH) project, but when that ended, the ferry left the country citing unprofitability.
It returned last month after a three-month absence.