Inspection of the MV Joyce is currently underway in Antigua after it was detained late last week by Antigua & Barbuda officials.
According to sources on Antigua, all relevant parties on Antigua and Montserrat have been informed and cooperating with the process.
The cargo vessel was contracted by the Government of Montserrat to provide shipping services between the islands in the absence of a regular ferry service.
The opposition party MCAP has called on Hon. Premier Donaldson Romeo who has responsibility for access and Hon. Minister with responsibility for the Port Authority and Transport Mr Paul Lewis to explain the circumstances surrounding the detention of the Motor Vessel MV Joyce by the authorities in Antigua and Barbuda.
“MCAP has been made aware that the Department with responsibility for Marine Services in Antigua and Barbuda has temporarily detained the MV Joyce for what apparently is its failure to meet the required standards of seaworthiness, safety and security for the transport of Cargo into and out of the Antigua and Barbuda. Noteworthy as well, it should not be carrying passengers as it is not insured nor does it have the facility so to do,” their release stated.
“Due to the lack of ferry services MCAP is concerned about the lack of cargo services for local businesses. So MCAP is calling on the authorities to give an update so that businesses can make the necessary contingency plans. The issues leading to the detention of the said vessel are numerous and serious. They must be a concern for the Government to ensure full compliance for the seaworthiness of a vessel registered in Montserrat. We need answers.”
Montserrat will be informed if and when the MV Joyce passes inspection so they can give clearance. It is expected this can happen before the end of today, Tuesday July 12, 2016.