Photos: ‘Bermudian’ Ferry Boat Stuck On Land

September 23, 2010

Despite manpower, digging of trenches, five boats assisting and a high tide, the MV Bermudian is still stuck on the rocks as of this morning [Sept 23].

As Bernews first reported during Hurricane Igor, the Government ferry boat broke free from its moorings in St George’s, and was getting battered against the shoreline on Sunday afternoon and evening.

MV Bermudian has been shifted but the vessel is still hard on the rocks. This morning, neither time nor tide waited for the Marine & Ports to refloat the MV Bermudian. The tide table projected that the tide would rise until 9:16am and then it would start falling. By 9:10am, two of the tugboats, Powerful and Edward Stowe from the four boat Marine & Ports flotilla had just managed to get two tow lines aboard the MV Bermudian. After carefully positioning themselves, the two tugboats did not commence serious pulling until about 9:25am. By then the tide had been falling for nine minutes.

ferry stuck rocks sept 2010 (10)

The two tugs did what they could. After about four pulls, accompanied with some audible creaking from the stuck ship, they managed to get the MV Bermudian to tilt so far to port (left) that the fender strake was in the water. Two more strong pulls resulted in a quick slide by the Bermudian when the stern (rear) slid about four to five feet. At that point the four-inch tow rope from the Powerful snapped, the Bermudian stopped moving, and she rolled back upright.

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That effectively ended the morning operation, although there was a re-connect of Powerful’s line an another pull. But by now it was 9:45am and the tide was lower than it had been at high tide, half an hour before.

The overnight and early preparation for the refloat had seen Crisson’s barge take on a backhoe, transport it out to Gunpoint where the MV Bermudian is stuck and put the backhoe ashore. Once ashore the backhoe had dug a trench around Bermudian so that the vessel could be brought upright. Several telephone poles had been pushed under Bermudian so that she could slide easier.

ferry stuck rocks sept 2010 (5)

In addition a welder crew with marine welding experience had been summoned and had cut off the port (left) rudder but had to leave the port propeller in place. That work was still ongoing but in its final stages at 9:00am.

ferry stuck rocks sept 2010 (7)

At 8:40am neither of the two tugboats was sighted in the vicinity of the MV Bermudian. The tug Powerful was first on the scene around 8:50am. Other craft involved or standing by were the Marine & Ports Pilot Boat and the bouy boat.

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The next attempt will likely depend on the tide. The next high tide is at 9:31pm tonight when it will be dark; and after that at 9:53am tomorrow.

The Bermudian being out of service results in the Old Towne losing cruise ship passengers temporarily, as the boat is used to tender passengers on the Veendam, which docks at seas, to the Town of St. George.

A spokesperson for Marine and Ports said yesterday it is their intent to refloat the vessel within the next couple of days. The spokesperson added: “Our engineers have transferred all of the fuel and water from the vessel to lighten it and are in the process of removing the port (left) rudder and propeller to avoid potential damage when the vessel is refloated.

Photos from this morning’s efforts are below, click to enlarge:

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Comments (1)

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  1. jovon says:

    looks like they need the boy’s from playboy marina, dania beach. fla. we do things right