Marlin Johnson, manager of the Bahamas Marine Engineering and Managing Company said there is a plethora of derelict vessels floating along the country’s harbours that potentially pose a threat not only to the environment, but to the tourism industry.
Mr. Johnson told The Bahama Journal yesterday that his team removed three vessels so far, most recently the M/V Lady D.
The boat that sank on May 14 of last year is currently being decontaminated and cleaned out.
He remains confident though that the removal of vessels like Lady D will move more smoothly in light of cooperation and obvious interest from government officials.
“If you look around the harbour, there are a few other boats that I think the government is putting some plans in place to have the sunken boats removed,” he said.
“While we were moving this boat (M/V Lady D) the minister requested updates everyday on the progress report of the boat. It clearly shows that the Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna-Martin is concerned.”
Mr. Johnson also explained that normally when boats are brought up to float they must wait for approval from the government on how to move forward with the disposal process.
Either the boats can be torn apart and used for metal or they can be dumped deep into the ocean after they have been thoroughly cleaned and fumigated.
In some cases thankfully, these vessels can be used for other purposes such as deep sea diving sites.
“We were going to cut this boat up and send it to the scrap metal dump, but two diving companies contacted the port to use it as an attraction for tourists.”
Mr. Johnson says sometimes companies use these boats as they harbour wild life such as sharks, fish and other aquatic life.
There are currently 39 known derelict vessels still waiting their turn to be properly disposed.