No Tender: St George’s Loses Cruise Visits

September 21, 2010

[Updated] As Bernews first reported during Hurricane Igor, the MV Bermudian broke free from its moorings in St George’s, and was getting battered against the shoreline on Sunday afternoon and evening, as shown below. The boat is normally used to carry cruise ship passengers into St George’s from the Veendam which docks at sea. The Corporation of St. George’s confirmed this morning that as long as the MV Bermudian is out of service, the Veendam will not stop at the East End.


As of this morning [Sept 21] the MV Bermudian is firmly grounded on the spit of land immediately adjoining the St George’s Boatyard and slipway off Wellington Slip Road in St George’s.

The pictures below were taken around 11:30am today and show how high out of the water the MV Bermudian had been pushed by the combination of Igor’s high winds and strong storm surge. The photos were taken at half-tide, and the tide was falling from its 8:00am high. Next high tide today will be at 8:15pm.

bermuda ferry boat rocked 2010 (3)

The two men, Jimmy O’Connor and William Weldon, who appeared on the scene helped Bernews show that the Bermudian sits about six feet out of the water. The three concrete blocks stacked end-on-end add up to four feet and they just about reach the men’s arms.

bermuda ferry boat rocked 2010 (4)

The twin engined, twin screwed, and twin ruddered MV Bermudian, has sustained material damage. The starboard rudder appeared to be broken off and had fouled the starboard propeller, indicating that the Bermudian cannot be properly steered and that the starboard propeller may not be efficiently usable. It is not known if the Bermudian has been holed and is, or was, taking on water. The broken rudder is pictured below:

bermuda ferry boat rocked 2010 (2)

Given how high up and hard aground that the Bermudian is, refloating her will require some careful but powerful work. The task of refloating the vessel can only be undertaken at high tide if further damage to the vessel is to be minimized.

After refloating, the Bermudian must immediately be taken out of the water so that hull repair work can commence. That repair work can only be undertaken at the Marine & Ports Dockyard facility after a twelve mile sea journey. This means that, leaking or not, the Bermudian will have to be towed to Dockyard, thus a need for some hustling once she is refloated.

This marine incident may have a serious impact on the Towne of St George’s. MV Bermudian is the only Marine & Ports tender that can effectively service the cruise ship Veendam; which is the ship that lies off the Oil Docks and sends it passengers ashore to tour and shop in St George’s.

bermuda ferry boat rocked 2010 (1)

Because of Hurricane Igor, the Veendam will likely bypass Bermuda and St George’s this week. However, next week and up until 20th November, the Veendam may continue to bypass St George’s, stopping only in Hamilton, because the MV Bermudian will be out of action. The Veendam was scheduled to make 24 calls to Bermuda in 2010, tendering at Murray’s Anchorage on Tuesdays before docking in Hamilton from Wednesdays – Fridays.

MV Bermudian is a licenced passenger carrier. Because she carries international passengers – passengers on the cruise ship – MV Bermudian must meet Lloyds of London insurance standards and specifications and must be inspected and re-certified after her repairs are complete. As far as is known, Marine & Ports personnel at the Dockyard have the skills to re-weld and fully repair the MV Bermudian.

Update Sept 22 12:00pm: The Department of Marine & Ports confirmed the ‘Bermudian’ has sustained some damage, and they said they intend to refloat it soon. Full statement follows below:

Yesterday Marine and Ports carried out a thorough inspection and survey of the internal sections of the grounded government ferry, the Bermudian.

The purpose of the survey was to identify any structural damage or breaches of the bottom plating.

Fortunately the bottom plating is not breached and remains intact. The starboard (right) rudder is broken off at the flange (connection) and there is some damage to the starboard propeller.

The Bermudian, which is used to tender passengers on the Veendam to the Town of St. George, broke free from its moorings and ran aground on Sunday evening as a result of Hurricane Igor.

A spokesperson for Marine and Ports said 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.

We are also removing debris and bottom material around the vessel and making the necessary preparations to refloat the vessel.

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  1. Ferry Boat Remains Stuck On Land | | September 23, 2010
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  1. terry says:

    Well, they better get their barnacles in gear. Full moon is in two days. Thats their best chance. At low tide, seal all intakes and cutlas bearings and drag that Bermudian ashore up there in Doc Yard and get on with it.

    St. Georges has suffered enough and we have enough “Bermudians” high and dry as it is.

    Where the hell is Arthur Bulwark when we need him…Timmy..Bunny….Swerve….Washy….Jade…..and of course my mentor in line boat operation….. and seamanship David dee ‘Tank’ Walrus…..

  2. Truth is killin' me says:

    The way that Marine and Ports work…you might have it in operation by next summer!

  3. terry says:

    Well, without getting into a back and forth that may be true but when the Veendam does return after missing this week Government does have the logistics and manpower with vessels to sustain and carry out tenderage if they use their local vessels which I am sure can be utillised.

    St. George needs some pie. Time for the bakers to get the recipe up too date.

  4. AnnMarieP says:

    How about one of the Fast ferries or maybe employ the many glass bottom boat Operators on the island. The Premier and his crooked cronies won’t help because they want to make it as hard on the Corporation of St.Geroges as possible so they will agree to a take over by the government. The lack of tourism in St. Georges is nothing new the small business have been suffering for years and it is a shame. St. Georges is truly the gem in Bermuda’s crown maintaining its charm and beauty regardless of time. If only Hamilton were the same.

    • jason says:

      U dont know what the hell ur talking about !! The Corporation of St.George’s isnt against the government take over..only the white usual, they dont want the government temper with there slave owner money..

  5. Curious says:

    I’m guessing that Government wishes that they didn’t sell the Canima…

  6. whitepower says:

    jason your a racist fool

  7. Tom says:

    Who tied the ferry up…the bouy is still there

  8. Daryl says:

    The Corporation of St George should get off their respective backsides and work with the folks at Holland America Lines. Have the onboard associates assist passengers with the ferry and bus schedules. Show them how easy it is to catch the ferry from Dockyard and/or Hamilton and spend the day in beautiful St George! Perhaps a few members of the tourism board at the dock greeting passengers and offering assistance????