Harbour bridge company submits repair costs to owner of tug

Rawlston Adams
Rawlston Adams

The Demerara Harbour Bridge Company has submitted the cost for repairs done on the bridge to the Impex Corporation Limited, which owns the vessel that crashed into the bridge almost two weeks ago, General Manager Rawlston Adams has said.

The Panamanian tug drifted into the bridge, which connects the Eastern and Western banks of Demerara, causing damage that saw the structure being closed to traffic for more than 30 hours.

The bridge administration and the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) had to engage in emergency works to rectify the damage.

Adams yesterday refrained from releasing the cost of repairs for works done on the bridge as he explained that MARAD also incurred some expenses and he was not privy to the those costs.

This newspaper understands that the figure is close to $100 million as the volume of damage was great.

Stabroek News understands that the company plans to repay the bridge company through its insurance claim.

Owner of the vessel Odalis Tons, who is currently in the country, was contacted by this newspaper yesterday. She promised to return a call but up to press time had not done so.

Stabroek News understands that the owner has been meeting with relevant authorities at the Bridge Company and MARAD to iron out issues.

Director of Safety at MARAD Captain John Flores last Friday told Stabroek News that the crew members have admitted that the Panamanian-registered tug was not anchored in the correct position. He said that the investigation found that the anchor broke as a result of the strong current in the river and this resulted in the vessels drifting and subsequently crashing into the bridge. If the vessel had been positioned correctly, the mishap could have been avoided, Flores said.

The crew members made several attempts to stop the vessels from drifting but their efforts were in vain, he said.

Stabroek News had previously reported that at around 12.50 on September 2nd, the tug and barge crashed into the DHB, resulting in extensive damage. The tug, a Panamanian vessel, drifted from Grove/Diamond on the East Bank Demerara and its crew belatedly issued a distress call.

The resulting damage, caused the bridge company to carry emergency works to reconnect eight connecting posts, five sheaves, 15 shackles and 215 feet of anchor chains. The chains, were disconnected as a result of the impact when the tug and barge crashed into the bridge.