April 8, 2002 The V.I. Fast Ferry catamaran was out of service Monday for the second time in three weeks.
St. Thomas counter agent Joanne James said the ferry, named the Salacia, made its morning and afternoon trips between St. Croix and St. Thomas on Sunday, but, because of a mechanical problem, was unable to complete the evening round trip from St. Croix.
The high-speed catamaran did not run at all Monday. James said, "Hopefully, we will run Tuesday" but added that she would know in the morning. The company's listed St. Croix number, 719-0099, was not answered Monday afternoon..
It was not possible Monday afternoon to reach Kevin Matthews, director of operations for Boston Harbor Cruises, which operates locally as Virgin Islands Fast Ferry. The Source also was unable to contact Matthews when the ferry was out of service for about 12 days in late March and early April.
U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Rob Campbell on St. Croix said one of the ferry's engines had a mechanical problem on Sunday. "Before it is put on schedule again," Campbell said, "they will have to have a service person come on board and assess whatever the problem is and propose a way to repair it, and then report to the Coast Guard."
If the repair work alters the vessel's construction, Campbell said, "they would have the Coast Guard see if the repairs are sufficient." He described this as a "routine procedure."
When the 600-seat ferry was out of service earlier, Campbell said, it was determined that the vessel had some "structural cracking." He said the Coast Guard oversaw the needed repairs.
The Salacia first provided service in the territory for a month's trial run last April. It returned to Boston for the summer months and then came back to the Virgin Islands for the winter season, commencing service on Nov. 20. It is scheduled to continue running through May. Matthews has said that the company is considering year-round service.
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