Friday, May 24, 2019

Cargo deck barge employed for Ceiba and Culebra, Puerto Rico, route

By on May 13, 2019

With a cargo area of 221 feet by 40 feet, the Amelie barge has the capacity to carry a typical day’s cargo in a single trip. (Courtesy)

Amelie has the capacity to transport a typical day’s cargo in a single trip

SAN JUAN – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced Monday that the Amelie cargo barge will be operating temporarily between Ceiba and the island-municipality of Culebra.

The dry cargo deck barge has the capacity to transport an entire day’s cargo in one single trip, officials said.

“The integration of this vessel into the transportation system to the island-municipalities is an example of how we are addressing with priority the challenges we are faced with,” Rosselló said in a statement. “I appreciate the work of House Speaker Carlos Méndez, who has been present in the efforts to address this issue with priority.”

The governor said that “since last week we have been facing problems with the trips mostly due to cargo breakdowns, but we hope that the operation will be stabilized this week.”

The vessel joins others that are currently transporting cargo and passengers on the route between Ceiba and the island-municipalities of Vieques and Culebra.

The head of the Maritime Transportation Authority (ATM by its Spanish initials), Mara Pérez, said that, “in principle, and until the security plan for Mosquito, in Vieques, is approved, we will be offering only one single cargo trip each day between Ceiba and Culebra, since all heavy, medium and vehicle cargo can be transported in one trip,” adding that when the “plan is approved, we will be adding a daily trip to Vieques.”

The ATM chief further noted that, “meanwhile, with the Isleño and the Puerto Rico Fast Ferries vessels–if necessary–we will be complementing the cargo and passenger trips between Ceiba and Vieques, ensuring that the established itineraries are met.”

Currently, the Isla Bonita, Santa María, Cayo Blanco and Cayo Largo vessels are undergoing maintenance or being repaired and are expected to be operational within the next four weeks, in time to address the high number of passengers expected to travel during the summer.

“Our north has always been that the residents of the island-municipalities of Vieques and Culebra can count on first-class maritime transportation service, including cargo,” Speaker Méndez said. “That is why we support all of the governor’s initiatives to achieve the uninterrupted cargo flow until the public-private alliance is viable.”

Amelie is an Alton, Illinois-registered vessel classified as a dry cargo deck barge, with a cargo area of 221 feet by 40 feet. It was built in 1976.