Islanders involved in the first ever docking of a ship at St Helena have been praised for making it go smoothly.
A fault with a flow meter meant the discharge of fuel had to be halted overnight, meaning the NP Glory 4 was delayed in returning to Namibia to collect more materials for the island’s airport project.
One senior member of the Basil Read airport team had admitted that people were nervous about how the docking on Wednesday 11 July would go.
“Obviously there is a great deal to be considered and we would not be telling the truth if we were not nervous but we have anticipated as many risks and remedies as we possibly can.”
Some railings on the temporary jetty in Rupert’s Bay were damaged, but they are only needed for public protection when the jetty is not in use, so they will be replaced with a removable waterside barrier.
Dean de Jager, Basil Read’s island director, was interviewed by Saint FM the day after the docking.
He said: “Except for the fuel pumping, I would give it nine and a half out of ten. All operations went very slick. The first voyage is behind us and we can look forward to the coming voyages but I’m very happy with what happened.
“Everything is a learning process, but we are on schedule. We would have liked to send it back earlier, but… things happen.”
He praised the way people made the operation go as smoothly as possible. “Everyone on this side – St Helena Government, all their departments, immigration, customs, the access office, the police – I could not have asked for better flow on the day. They all did their bit and I need to thank them.
“To my team as well, the Basil Read guys, yesterday was once again proof I have chosen the right people. They are a practical bunch, they make a plan and they can work well together as a team.”
St Helena Airport Project – picture gallery