A Fishy-Smelling Ocean Flower

A Fishy-Smelling Ocean Flower

What seemed to be a temporary answer to the dysfunctional state of transportation on the inter-island sea bridge has grown into an even more complicated debacle. Recapping, the Port Authority contracted Bridgmans Services Group LP to provide inter-island ferry services using two vessels – the Cabo Star and the Ocean Flower 2. This came after the last ship, the Super Fast Galicia, was recalled by its European owners earlier this year for reasons that are now considered water under the bridge.

The Cabo Star arrived last month, while the Ocean Flower was docked at Port Colon in Panama up to earlier this week, even though it was supposed to be in the country long before now. The reason for this extensive delay remains unclear.

Lo and behold, the contract for the Ocean Flower was canceled by government yesterday, citing just that – the failure of the contractor to fulfil its basic obligations, i.e. timely delivery of the vessel. The Ocean Flower would have cost a rental of US$26,500 per day to operate. The Cabo currently costs US$22,500 daily.

Why is such a seemingly straightforward issue so problematic? Even before this slew of inefficiencies and contract cancelations, transportation via the sea route was never an efficient process. Do you remember the MV Panorama?

An even deeper look into this whole fiasco lets loose another figurative can of worms. Based on a report in one of the daily newspapers, we saw a lot to have us gravely concerned. The contractor – Bridgmans Services Group LP – is supposedly based in Vancouver, Canada with a staff of “6-10 people”. According to the report, efforts by an international business service company to probe more were to no avail, mostly because the registered office of the company was closed and all efforts to contact the proprietors proved futile. The report further stated the company started business in September 2015, putting it on a timeline of a couple weeks after the last General Election here.

We’re not sure if to call it smelling a rat or if it’s something downright fishy. Either way, something isn’t right.

Seems like we are back on the same boat yet again.

Web Master

August 10th, 2017

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