82.1 F
Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, August 16, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesAnswer Desk: St. Thomas-St. John Ferries to be Operational Soon

Answer Desk: St. Thomas-St. John Ferries to be Operational Soon

Source reader Kathy Jackson asked the questions that have been on many people’s minds for the last three months. When will the new St. Thomas-St. John ferries go into operation and what is the delay?

Turns out, there’s good news on the horizon.

The ferries, which arrived late last year, were dedicated in a December ceremony and were anticipated to be in service before the end of the year, according to Public Works Commissioner Daryl Smalls at that time.

Since then, a series of contract disputes between the ferries’ franchise operators and the government have held up getting the ferries in service.

Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Bryson Spangler said Monday morning that Cruz Bay I, the ferry going to Transportation Services, is scheduled for a New to Zone inspection Thursday. He said this is the final inspection done on passenger vessels new to the territory.

"Both ferries have their certificates of inspection," he said. "This final inspection includes man overboard, fire and muster drills, and paperwork."

Spangler said he has not had a request for inspection from Varlak Ventures, the other ferry franchise.

Clearly happy to talk about getting the new vessel, the Cruz Bay I into service, Transportation Services general manager Kenrick Augustus said Monday, "Most likely, we’ll be in business next Monday, if everything goes right."

"We’ll be doing a new security test and drills, not just the regular new licensing paperwork,” Augustus said. “We have to check the safety equipment. Everything has to be passed. We’ve never done a man overboard drill on this vessel. We will be taking it out tomorrow doing exercises and we need to mark out the areas on the boat where people cannot go, and paint the areas accordingly."

Delrise Varlack of Varlack Ventures would not comment Monday on the status of the franchise. She referred inquiries to Smalls for comment.

As of the close of business Monday, Smalls had not responded.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more

Source reader Kathy Jackson asked the questions that have been on many people's minds for the last three months. When will the new St. Thomas-St. John ferries go into operation and what is the delay?

Turns out, there's good news on the horizon.

The ferries, which arrived late last year, were dedicated in a December ceremony and were anticipated to be in service before the end of the year, according to Public Works Commissioner Daryl Smalls at that time.

Since then, a series of contract disputes between the ferries’ franchise operators and the government have held up getting the ferries in service.

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Bryson Spangler said Monday morning that Cruz Bay I, the ferry going to Transportation Services, is scheduled for a New to Zone inspection Thursday. He said this is the final inspection done on passenger vessels new to the territory.

"Both ferries have their certificates of inspection," he said. "This final inspection includes man overboard, fire and muster drills, and paperwork."

Spangler said he has not had a request for inspection from Varlak Ventures, the other ferry franchise.

Clearly happy to talk about getting the new vessel, the Cruz Bay I into service, Transportation Services general manager Kenrick Augustus said Monday, "Most likely, we'll be in business next Monday, if everything goes right."

"We'll be doing a new security test and drills, not just the regular new licensing paperwork,” Augustus said. “We have to check the safety equipment. Everything has to be passed. We've never done a man overboard drill on this vessel. We will be taking it out tomorrow doing exercises and we need to mark out the areas on the boat where people cannot go, and paint the areas accordingly."

Delrise Varlack of Varlack Ventures would not comment Monday on the status of the franchise. She referred inquiries to Smalls for comment.

As of the close of business Monday, Smalls had not responded.