Tea and fruit run out as Tristan supply ship turns back

Rationing has been introduced at the store on Tristan da Cunha after the supply ship MV Edinburgh was forced to turn back while en route to the island.

The ship was 500 miles from Tristan on 30 May 2013 when Captain Clarence October MBE decided to return to Cape Town because of technical problems.

The last delivery of fresh produce and mail was on 26 March 2013. The Edinburgh is not expected to reach the island until 18 June, meaning a gap of 12 weeks without fresh supplies.

The Tristan website has reported that the island store was rationing flour and milk, and stocks of tea had sold out.

It quoted islander Dawn Repetto, saying: “The children are longing for fruit as we have been out of apples and oranges for quite a while.”

The 11 passengers on board the Edinburgh will have spent a fortnight at sea by the time the ship reaches South Africa, probably on Thursday 6 June 2013.

According to the island website, www.tristandc.com, they include the Tristan desk officer at the Foreign Office, the administrator’s daughter, and two children.

A tug sent out to meet the vessel has successfully transferred spares and repairs have been carried out to enable the ship to continue under its own power, travelling at about nine knots.

If further repairs and sea trials go well, the Edinburgh is scheduled to set out on 11 June 2013 for the week-long voyage to the island – a trip of 1,700 miles.

By the time the passengers reach the island, they will have sailed more than 4,000 miles.

Despite “challenging” weather conditions, all those on board were said to be well.

The island website listed the passengers as: education adviser Carl Lander, his wife and two children; locum medical officer Dr D’Silva; an Ovenstone factory engineer; administrator Sean Burns’ daughter, Kelly; Ian Cramman, the Tristan desk officer at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; and islanders Shaun and Renee Green and Glenys Swain.

Fresh produce and perishables aboard the MV Edinburgh are to be inspected when the vessel arrives in Cape Town, and replaced if required.

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