The Government of Guyana has not been given a dime for in excess of $1 billion it expended to repair the Demerara Harbour Bridge after a Panamanian marine vessel crashed into it over a month ago. The vessel, MV Tradewind Passion, has left local shores.
The incident, which occurred on October 8th, was followed by several court proceedings, and according to Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill, the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation (DHBC), through its attorney, filed a claim for damages caused as a result of the collision in the sum of one billion dollars. He related that the DHBC indicated in its claim that expenses were not finalized at the time and that the initial damages to the bridge were estimated to be higher.
Nevertheless, Edghill said that the vessel that was detained following the incident left local shores on November 21 without notifying the General Manager of the Demerara Harbour Bridge Cooperation, Rawlston Adams.
Justice Corbin Lincoln had ordered owners of the vessel to constitute a limitation fund by lodging a letter of undertaking issued by Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association (Europe) with the Registrar of the Supreme Court in the sum of two hundred and forty-seven million, four hundred and three thousand, six hundred, and seventy-one Guyana dollars (GY$247,403,671) for the release of the vessel by November 25, 2022. They break news understands that the owners complied and as per the Judge’s order, the vessel was set free.
“It must be noted that there was no actual payment of monies into the courts,” Edghill informed.
He noted that during the period the vessel was detained, matters related to the anchorage, repairs, and supply of provisions for the crew, among others, were known at all times.
“In the event that one is not too au fait with maritime affairs, it should be noted that any ocean-going vessel set to depart Guyana’s waters cannot just sail into the sunset at will,” he stated, assuring that the departure of the vessel was monitored.
They Break News also understands that a number of staff members of the Demerara Harbour Bridge have been sent on leave pending an investigation into how the vessel left Guyana.
Edghill assured that Government will pursue all possible avenues to ensure the Demerara Harbour Bridge is justly compensated for the damages caused by the Tradewind Passion.
Around 02:00hrs on October 8, the MV Tradewind Passion, crashed into the bridge, shifting two spans that make up the bridge out of alignment, resulting in the bridge being inoperable for three days.