In the small hours of Sunday morning, the Boyceterous Catamaran Cruises vessel capsized and sank while under tow by the Barbados Coast Guard. Fortunately none of the 45 to 50 passengers and crew drowned, although we hear that some were injured. One of the tour boat’s engines failed and the boat had been drifting for an hour off the harbour until the arrival of the Coast Guard.
Today a person associated with Boyceterous is telling BFP and anyone who will listen that the boat was not taking on water or sinking until the Coast Guard vessel HMBS Excellence started to tow the boat to the harbour. Our source says the boat was towed too fast and too hard for the sea condition, and that the crew tried to tell the rescue boat to slow down but it was too late. It happened quickly, but not suddenly. The crew and passengers could see what was about to happen. (Bear in mind that BFP is an anonymous blog, getting information from someone who won’t give their name to print.)
50 people on this small boat is too many!
News accounts and the Barbados Coast Guard are directing the attention and responsibility for the sinking to the crew, and not mentioning that the cause was the faulty towing procedure by the Coast Guard.
Seeing as nobody died there probably won’t be any public inquest or public inquiry, but Barbados should learn what it can and take all steps to prevent it happening again. Because if five or twenty tourists drown next time, that will be a national economic disaster.
We’ve said before (and so did Prime Minister Arthur) that we are not an “enforcement society”. That’s all fine when we are talking about nitpicking folks to death with government regulations – but not so good when we’re talking about having no Building Code, no enforcement of vehicle insurance regulations, and training, standards and equipment for emergency personnel that falls way short of international standards.
Here’s a list of factors that any real inquiry should look at. (MORE SINKING PHOTOS BELOW) Continue reading
Christmas 2013: Body bags are the natural result of building on flood plains and failing to clear bridge obstructions.
The future is as dark as the silt-laden waters
by Peter Binose
(Photo courtesy of I-Witness News)
The 3rd Duke of Bridgewater and perhaps even Isambard Kingdom Brunel would turn in their graves if they could see how the Unity Labour Party have neglected our little island’s waterways and bridges to the extent that bridges are destroyed on a regular basis.
It’s ever so simple to comprehend really – streams, rivers and tributaries have to be kept clear of obstructions and siltation on a very regular basis. If this procedure is neglected even for one season, flooding will ensue which will cause river bank and bridge damage, if not total loss of bridges. Everyone with half a brain knows that, but obviously not the ULP leadership.
Over the last fourteen years just about every bridge on our tiny island of Saint Vincent has suffered serious damage. The rivers are allowed to collect tree trunks and roots and other debris and rubbish without regular round the year maintenance and clearance by teams of work men clearing and burning such vegetation waste. When it rains heavy this debris floats down river and blocks under bridges.
Of course the silt level under bridges is allowed to grow to such an extent that between the debris and the silt, an effective dam is created.
When the silt and debris effectively blocks the water flow under the bridge the water builds up to an enormous pressure that damages the bridge and attached road. The sudden release of a large volume of water rushes down river taking with it the next bridge, if there is one, where the bridge dam sequence and sudden release is repeated on a magnified basis, also taking river banks on its way. Eventually this torrent overflows into the ancient flood plains as has happened for hundreds of thousands of years. Continue reading
Has Finance Minister Sinckler done the right thing… or is the situation so far out of hand that no government could be effective now?
Barbados, “the Jewel of the Caribbean,” the tiny easternmost island in the Lesser Antilles with 288,000 year-around inhabitants and lots of very rich foreign visitors and investors, is in the throes of a financial meltdown.
While its entire GDP is now only worth about $4.2 billion, and its population is smaller than that of Duluth Minnesota, this crisis is worth examining closely. For here we have a very precise example of the “finance curse,” where excessive dependence on high debt, an aggressive offshore haven industry, very low tax rates for high-net worth investors, foreign companies, and banks, and high tax rates for everyone else, have essentially brought this little country to its knees.
… from the December 2013 Forbes online article Postcard From Barbados — a.k.a. ‘Cyprus West’
See BFP’s January 2014 article Happy New Year 2014: Forbes announces that Barbados is on its knees, in a financial meltdown.
“Government is shortly to ask Parliament for a supplementary, around $100 000, to ease the distress of mothers who trek daily to the courts for child maintenance only to be disappointed because a special account was overdrawn.
The move comes against the backdrop of angry cries by frustrated women earlier this month that some had not received the child support for September, while others claimed they had not received any payments since July. Some called for a return to the cash payment system instead of the current cheque mechanism.”
… October 30, 2014 Nation News Child Money
Barbados makes single motherhood a viable career choice and then we wonder why we have so many young women, girls really, popping ’em out like Marcia does grill fish, peas & rice, and beer at Oistins.
Half the time it’s a guess to name the father… make that fathers. Plural.
This free ride, this “guvment look after everyting” is coming to an end, as it must.
The cupboard is bare, and as BFP’s Shona said back in 2006…
“Government child maintenance payments empowers young uneducated women to perpetuate further generations of young unwed mothers and young men who lack the steady hand of a father.
The current trend towards making unwed motherhood a societally sponsored career choice marginalizes the role of fathers and men in general – and can do no long-term good.”
Originally posted on Barbados Free Press:
Story #1,243 in a continuing Nation Cultural Series…
by BFP reader Passin thru
Jacqueline Blunt is 40 years old and has five children (by how many different men we’re not told). She’s long-term unemployed and lives with her mother; who has served notice on Miss Blunt that she and her five children are out on the street as of Tuesday.
According to the newspaper article, Mother of 5 needs house Miss Blunt contributes nothing to household expenses and keeps such hours and personal habits that her long-suffering mother sought to impose an 8pm curfew on the 40 year old. That really says it all when an unemployed and unemployable mother can’t be bothered to tuck her children in each night. It’s not as if she’s out working or looking for work – she’s partying.
Miss Blunt is featured in The Nation newspaper looking for her next meal ticket. She doesn’t…
View original 285 more words
by St George’s Dragon
As promised I went to take a few photos of the Harlequin H Hotel today.
The site has obviously suffered less than Merricks, presumably because it is in a more populated area. It looks as though it was secure until fairly recently, although when I went it was possible to walk straight in from the boardwalk side of the site as someone has ripped the site hoarding door off its hinges.
There are still a few items of plant and materials on site, although nothing of any great value.
Such a shame. So many people have lost money just to create an eyesore that spoils Barbados.
A lovely view for the tourists from the beach and boardwalk! Click photo for larger view.
Editor’s Note: The exposed rebar is salt-drenched and rusted, with salt-laden water dripping down into the concrete. How long before no self-respecting structural engineer would approve further work? Has that time already arrived? Do we have an architects or engineers out there to comment?
It has been 38 years since the CIA terror bombing of Cubana Flight 455 on October 6, 2975 just a few minutes after takeoff from Barbados Seawell Airport. The ex-Air Canada Douglas DC8 was crippled and set on fire by the first bomb, but the second bomb in one of the washrooms brought it down in the Atlantic – killing all 78 people on board.
What did the CIA and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger know about it? Lots, according to recently released documents.
See BFP’s earlier article What Henry Kissenger and the FBI knew about Cubana Flight 455 Bombing
Barbados Today: Remembering victims of Cubana Airline crash
The ULP’s Electioneering Housing Scheme Hits a Slippery Slope.
Homes at Clare Valley are now blighted and worthless.
by Peter Binose
When you have evil in your heart you can almost be certain things will inevitably go wrong – the Karma will get you. That’s what has happened, and that’s the basis of the ULP housing schemes. The ULP like to describe them as a “government” housing schemes, but that is not true. They are schemes designed by a political party that is in a position of power – to build houses for their own supporters in areas where the party needs to boost their voting electorate. It is no more and no less than that.
It’s an attempt to move whole swathes of supporters into areas where the ULP have low support. It’s the old British Labour Party style of increasing votes where the party needs votes to get elected. This is a practice invented by the British Labour Party government in the early days when nasty Marxist types and other little red devils ruled the country.
“The ULP had the brilliant idea of acquiring rock-bottom priced land and giving it to political supporters.
Of course these lands had no value because they were problem lands – extreme slopes with soil problems that made construction a dangerous proposition…”
In 1951 the British Labour Party established a scientific socialist revolution and planned to build council houses in the UK for rent and sale in areas that traditionally had low socialist support. They went to pretty little towns and villages of a few hundred or a few thousand people and supplanted a populace that greatly exceeded that of the original people count – sometimes by more than double.
That is exactly what the ULP government wants to do: plant and install large numbers of people in housing projects in areas where they previously could not get elected. But to do that they must ensure that those who take the houses are grateful to the party and will vote for them come hell or high water. This cannot be a fair government policy; it can only be a party political policy dressed as a government giveaway scheme that benefits a certain section of the populace and excludes others. Continue reading