In the three months from the beginning of this year to now, the Port Authority has sent over 30 news releases to the media making announcements on issues relating to the inter-island ferry services.
These announcements ranged from the shutting down of vessels, scheduled repairs, apparent sabotage, delays, missed schedules, changes to sailing times, supplemental services and of course, cancellations.
While this problem started more than a year ago, we've compiled a list of some of 27 key media releases issued in just the last three months of 2018 alone.
January 3 - Cancellation due to electrical problems
"...the non-sailing of the T&T Express on Wednesday 03rd January, 2018. The vessel developed electrical problems upon its arrival into Scarborough, which prevented its timely berthing."
January 24 - Cancellation due to mechanical problems
"...T&T Express experienced mechanical issues on Tuesday 23rd January, 2018 during the sailing to Scarborough. Repairs commenced immediately upon its arrival into port and the vessel was able to sail from Scarborough this morning at 7.40 am. On-going repairs will continue when the vessel arrives into POS, and in the circumstances, the 12.00 noon sailing from POS (today) will be cancelled."
January 25 - Sailings to resume after repair works
"...apologise for the non-sailing of the T&T Express from POS on Wednesday 24th January and from TGO at 6.30 am on Thursday 25th January, 2018. The travelling public is advised that the repair works have been completed and the T&T Express will resume the inter-island run from POS (today) Thursday 25th January at 3.00 pm."
January 28 - Cancellation due to mechanical issues
"The T&T Express experienced mechanical issues upon its arrival into the Scarborough Harbor. Repairs are on-going at this time. In the circumstances, the 6.30 am sailing from Tobago is cancelled."
January 29 - Further cancellations due to incomplete repair work
"The travelling public is further advised that, at this time, the repair works have not been completed. In the circumstances, all sailings of the T&T Express will be cancelled (today) Monday 29th January 2018, that is the 6.30am from TGO and the 2.00pm from POS."
January 30 - Cancellations due to repairs and rough seas
"...due to on-going repairs and the present Rough Seas Bulletin in effect, the following sailings have been cancelled - Tuesday 30th January 2.00 pm, Wednesday 31st January 6.30 am."
January 31 - Further cancellations due to repairs and rough seas
"...due to on-going repairs and the present Rough Seas Bulletin in effect, the sailings of the T&T Express to/from Tobago on Wednesday 31st January and Thursday 01st February have been cancelled."
February 1 - Delay as Cabo Star involved in rescue mission
"...about 4.00 am today Thursday 01 February during its sailing from Tobago, the Cabo Star received a distress call from a barge that had overturned midway between Grenada and Trinidad. The Cabo Star immediately altered course and proceeded to the site to render assistance. At this time the Cabo Star has returned to its route to POS, and is expected to arrive in port at 3.00 pm. Due to the delay into port the M.V. Cabo Star will sail on Thursday 01st February, from POS at 6.00 pm."
February 1 - Repair work incomplete
"...repairs to the T&T Express are still on-going. Some of the parts will arrive into the country today and all attempts will be made to complete the works in the shortest possible time. A further update will be provided by 10.00 am on Friday 02nd February, 2018 and the travelling public will be advised on the expected resumption to service of the T&T Express."
February 2 - Repair work still incomplete
"...repairs to the T&T Express are still on-going. The technicians are working assiduously to complete the repairs following which all works will be supervised and certified by DNV surveyors. A further update will be provided by 10.00 am on Saturday 03rd February, 2018 and the travelling public will be advised on the expected resumption to service of the T&T Express."
February 3 - Repair work completed
"...repairs to the T&T Express have been completed and the vessel will return to service on Sunday 04 February, 2018."
February 7 - Cancellation due to rough seas
The latest weather update is predicting weather conditions with waves within a range of 7 – 12ft from Wednesday 07th – Monday 12th February, 2018. This recent development will pose a challenge to the captain as he cautiously manoeuvres the vessel to/from Tobago. The travelling public is therefore advised that these conditions will be monitored and if necessary, the sailings of the T&T Express may be affected. At this time we regret to advise that the 12.00 noon sailing from POS (today) Wednesday 07th February will be cancelled.
February 7 -T&T Express withdrawn/Arrangement with Caribbean Airlines
"In the interest of public safety the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (PATT) has withdrawn the T&T Express from service with immediate effect. To accommodate the high demand at this time arrangements have been made with Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL), based on the availability of seats, to accommodate some of the passengers with confirmed tickets during the period 8th to 14th February. An available seat will be provided at no extra cost to the passenger, on a first come first served basis. Only passengers with confirmed tickets will be allowed to access this facility"
February 15 - CAL arrangement extended
"The Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago wishes to advise that the travelling public will continue to be accommodated on Caribbean Airlines (CAL) on Friday 16th February, 2018. Seats will be provided at no extra cost to the passenger."
February 16 - Announcement on return of T&T Express
"At this time the surveys carried out on the T&T Express have been completed and the Authority is awaiting the results from DNV. It is expected that all operations will be certified and the vessel will be returned to class by 12.00 noon on Saturday 17th February, 2018 to allow the vessel to sail from POS as scheduled at 2.00pm."
February 17 - Cancellation due to rough seas
"...the T&T Express has been certified to continue its sailings to/from Tobago, from Saturday 17th February, 2018. On Tuesday 20th February wave heights are predicted to be in excess of 3m, which means that the vessel will not be able to sail on this day."
February 19 - Cancellation announcement withdrawn - vessel will sail
"...the T&T Express will sail to/from Tobago, on Tuesday 20th February, 2018 as the expected wave height is within the acceptable limit."
February 23 - Cancellations due to rough seas
"At this time, the sea conditions for the period Friday 23rd February – Sunday 25th February reflect wave height in excess of 3m. Accordingly the following sailings are cancelled: Friday 23rd February 2.00 pm Cancelled Saturday 24th February 2.00 pm 6.30 am Cancelled Sunday 25th February 2.00 pm 8.30 am Cancelled."
February 23 - One cancellation withdrawn - vessel will sail
"Please be advised that the T&T Express will sail from POS on Sunday 25th February at 2.00 pm."
March 6 - Cancellation due to repairs
"The travelling public is hereby advised of the cancellation of the under-mentioned sailings of the T&T Express, to complete repairs to the vessel: Tuesday 06 March 2.00 pm (cancelled) Wednesday 07 March 6.30 am (cancelled) The vessel is expected to sail from Port of Spain on Wednesday 07th February, 2018. This information will be confirmed by 9.00 am on said day."
March 7 - Repairs to T&T Express completed/Date announced for T&T Spirit to return
"...repairs to the T&T Express have been completed, and the vessel will resume its sailings as follows: Thursday 08 March 2.00pm Friday 09 March 2.00 pm 6.30 am. The T&T Spirit is continuing its maintenance programme and is expected to resume operations by 2018 March 13."
March 12 - Suspension of both passenger ferries
"In the interest of public safety the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (PATT) has decided to temporarily suspend the operations of the passenger ferries until all outstanding works are completed.
The T&T Express has been the lone passenger vessel in service and has been making the crossing in approximately 4 hrs and is over-due for its statutory maintenance programme. The T&T Spirit was expected to resume the service on March 13 however, there are still some outstanding works to be addressed, and is now expected to resume operations on or by March 22, 2018."
March 17 - Date for Spirit to return
"The T&T Spirit which was taken out of service on June 06, 2017 has completed all major works and is expected to resume the service by March 23, 2018."
March 22 - Spirit not ready for return
"The travelling public was previously advised that all major works to the T&T Spirit were completed. However repairs to the coolers prevented the continuation of the vessels’ sea trials, which are necessary to obtain the certificates to operate on the inter-island service. The repairs to the coolers were completed on Saturday 17th March, 2018 and the testing continued. At this time the Board and the Management of the Port Authority wishes to advise that it is unlikely that the vessel will resume service tomorrow 2018 March 23 as, coming out of the last sea trials on March 21, further works are being carried out on the vessel’s safety systems."
March 25 - Lemons, pieces of clothing in sewer system
"Please be advised that on Thursday 22nd March the bathroom facilities on the MV Cabo star were out of service and subsequently repaired. On Saturday 24th March again the system was affected and repaired within hours. During these repairs it was discovered that rocks were found lodged in the toilet vacuum system, which clogged the system. A similar situation occurred previously where lemons and pieces of clothing were found in the sewer system. All persons travelling on the Cabo Star are kindly asked to refrain from placing objects in the toilets."
March 26 - Water Taxi being put into service
"The Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago wishes to advise the travelling public that the water taxi will be available to transport passengers to/from Tobago from Tuesday 27 March - Tuesday 03 April, 2018"
March 27 - Cancellation of Water Taxi due to repairs (following fire that left 60 passengers & crew stranded)
The Port Authority advises the travelling public that the water taxi will not be able to transport passengers to/from Tobago on Wednesday 28th March due to repairs to the vessel. An update will be provided by 4.00pm on said day."