Thursday 8th March, 2018 – More than 100 passengers en route to Montserrat were stranded in Antigua on Wednesday as a result of rough sea conditions.
According to a statement posted on discovernmi.com, the Access Division had arranged for the passengers who had been stuck in Antigua since high seas caused cancellation of the ferry service on Sunday, to travel down and to dock at Port Plymouth. However, the Jaden Sun was unable to dock at the port and a further attempt to dock in Little Bay had to be aborted as the waters were too rough.
A total of 114 passengers were reportedly aboard and had to be brought back to Antigua pending a decision on how to get them to Montserrat.
The island is expected an estimated 2000 people to arrive in the coming days to enjoy the annual St Patrick’s Festival which officially begins on Friday.
The Honourable Premier Donaldson Romeo said on Wednesday afternoon on ZJB Radio that the decision to dock in Plymouth was not taken lightly and early morning indications had shown that it would be safe for the ferry to dock there. However, by the time the ferry arrived after noon, the surf had increased and made it unsafe to dock.
Premier Romeo said the government has taken the responsibility to provide meals, transport and accommodations to the passengers, pending further plans.
The Access Division announced late Wednesday that flight arrangements are being finalised for the elderly and children to be flown to Montserrat today.
These priority passengers are expected to be contacted by the Ferry Agents in Antigua and will be assisted with their onward flights to Montserrat. Other passengers will be transported to Montserrat on the Ferry Service when operations recommence. The Ferry was tentatively expected to resume operations today, depending on whether sea conditions are favourable.