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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, July 15, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesBARGE FLEET FULL STRENGTH WITH CAPTAIN VIC BACK

BARGE FLEET FULL STRENGTH WITH CAPTAIN VIC BACK

St. John's fleet of commercial and commuter barges returned to its full compliment of six with the return of the Captain Vic over the weekend.
The 128-foot barge returned to its regularly scheduled runs for the first time since the vessel hit a coral reef near Stevens Cay in early June.
"Business is good. All our customers are happy the boat is back," Republic Barge Service president Llewelyn Sewer Jr. said
Sewer said damage to the Captain Vic as a result of its mishap was less than first expected. Instead of a gaping 12-foot gash in the hull, Sewer said, marine mechanics at the Martinique dry dock where the vessel went for repairs found a series of cuts in two dented sections near the bow.
It took about a week to replace the damaged panels, and the Captain Vic returned to St. John late last week.
Coast Guard officials are expected to meet with Capt. Tilbert Lettsome on Thursday to discuss a settlement for the damage incurred as a result of the accident, including any damage to natural resources assessed by the Division of Fish and Wildlife of the Planning and Natural Resources Department.
Sewer expressed sympathy for Lettsome, who he said piloted the Captain Vic down to Martinique for repairs. Things go wrong, even for the best of them, he said.
The number of barges transporting commuters and commercial vehicles between Red Hook, St. Thomas, and Cruz Bay, St. John, has been fluctuating in recent months. Financial and management problems sidelined the Tug Life from November 1999 until May. Structural problems with The General, operated by Boyson Inc., took it out for repairs for a few weeks. As of this week, all four Boyson barges plus Republic's Captain Vic and the Tug Life – operating as the Roanoke under Global Marine – are back in operation.

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