Harbour Bridge accident: Tug boat was crossing at ‘wrong time’- GM

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Last Friday’s accident at the Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB) could have been avoided had the tug and barge that slammed into the anchorage system crossed at the right time.

General Manager of the Harbour Bridge Wayne Watson explained to the News Room on Monday that the tide was not optimal for the tug and barge to be traversing under the DHB’s high span and this contributed to damages to the anchorage.

General Manager of the Demerara Harbour Bridge, Wayne Watson

“What we know is that the time that the tug and barge was (crossing was) the wrong time; it was not the right time because of the tide.

“What surrounded the decision to cross the high span at that time, we are still investigating,” the GM explained.

The accident occurred at about 12:45hrs and according to Watson, the tug and barge that was laden with lumber should have been crossing “much later”.

“We are still investigating to find out whether the Captain of the tug and barge took the decision to travel at that time or whether it was officials from the Harbour Bridge who told them that they can cross because we are hearing conflicting reports,” he added.

Thus far, the damages to the anchorage have already been repaired with no hindrances to the flow of traffic across the Harbour Bridge.

The barge was laden with lumber at the time of the accident

The GM noted that a few wires and chains from the anchorage became disconnected and those were repaired hours after the accident. Added to that, Watson explained that Span 55’ also suffered minor damages that were also repaired.

A cost assessment is being conducted to put a value to the damages and that bill will be handed to the owners of the tug and barge.

And further, the Harbour Bridge GM noted that charges can be laid against the owners for the accident.

The investigations will determine whether the DHB management goes along this route.

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