#Bahamas, May 15, 2018 – Nassau – Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis has extolled the potential of the maritime sector as another way to diversify the economy. He made the observation during the Official Christening Ceremony of Tugboats Samson and Rose at Prince George Dock on Monday, May 14, 2018.
“The maritime sector holds great promise for The Bahamas, and is another sector for increased diversification,” the Prime Minister said. “There are approximately 5,000 jobs Bahamians can be trained for in the international maritime industry.”
The new-state-of-the art vessels valued at $15 million, will complement the Government’s tugboats fleet in rendering service to cruise ships coming in port and emergency services to smaller vessels.
The Prime Minister deemed it an honour to participate in the christening ceremony. And he particularly noted that Tug Samson was named in honour of the late Sir Durward Knowles – the first Bahamian to win an Olympic medal, for sailing. He died at age 100.
“Today would not have been possible without Sir Durward Knowles, who departed this life just this past February,” the Prime Minister said. “Sir Durward’s memory and legacy will live on in many ways and in many places, including with the inauguration of the new service provided by these state of the art tug boats,” he added.
Tugs Samson and Rose will be operated by Tug Services Limited, a 100 percent Bahamian-owned and operated company. The Government of The Bahamas entered into a 15-year contractual lease arrangement with Tug Services Limited, which began April 1, 2018.
“These are the kinds of public/private partnerships which help to provide certain necessary services,” the Prime Minister said.
The agreement calls for Tug Services Ltd. to provide two 50-ton bollard pull, Azimuth Stern Drive, tug boats, on a daily timed charter. It also includes management services, crew, firefighting, oil spill recovery; salvage capabilities and vessel maintenance for tug services at Nassau Harbour and Clifton Pier.
With its world-class equipment and experienced Bahamian staff, Tug Services Limited has the task of providing tugboat services 24 hours per day, 365 days per year for the next 15 years to “ensure the safety and enhance the competitiveness” of Nassau Harbour and Clifton Pier. This also includes reliable service during poor weather and in emergencies.
Tugs Rose and Samson are on the cutting edge of technology. They are a 60-ton vessel and a 70-ton vessel, respectively. Both contain life jackets, immersion suit life rafts, portable fire extinguishers, lifebuoys and other emergency equipment. The tugboats also contain an external firefighting system, which is powered by a Caterpillar C32 engine, with two general service pumps that can be used for bilge/ballast/internal firefighting.
The Prime Minister congratulated Tug Boat Services Ltd. and its management and staff for this milestone. He also thanked the officials in his administration and in the former administration, who were involved in negotiating and finalizing this agreement.
The Government is reviewing other possible public/private partnerships in a number of areas in the maritime and transport sectors.
“This is all a part of our program of modernization of public services, including in the generation of electricity; the installation of fibre optics throughout the government-operated school system and solarization and renewable energy projects,” the Prime Minister said.
By: Lindsay Thompson (BIS)
Header: Christening of the tugboats – pictured from left: Commander of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Commodore Tellis Bethel, the Right Reverend Gilbert Thompson, Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis, Lady Holly Knowles, Charlotte Albury, and Captain Ritchie.
Insert: Prime Minister Minnis, during his address.
BIS Photos/Peter Ramsay