Woman kicked off ferry says incident hurt my spirit’
A 40-year-old woman said she was kicked off a ferry at the Hamilton terminal on Tuesday to make way for tourists.
The woman, who asked that her name not be published, told The Royal Gazette that she decided to take the ferry as a way to relax and unwind while taking care of some personal work.
Using her bus pass, she boarded the ferry in Hamilton with the intention of staying on as she completed her work, which she estimated would take two or three hours.
“They knew I was doing this,” the woman said of ferry staff. “They didn’t say anything was a problem from the start.”
When the ferry later arrived back in Hamilton, the woman said that a ferry staff member came up to her, told her that she had been “joyriding”, and that she would have to get off the boat.
“The guy had such a nasty attitude about it,” she said.
“I was shocked. I thought he was joking at first.”
The man, she said, told her she needed to get off so that tourists could come on.
“Now, I understand that — but I’m one person,” she said.
“One Bermudian sitting on the ferry — one spot does not make a difference if you’ve got 1,000 tourists out there.”
The woman, who said she was the only passenger on the boat at the time, said it was the first time this had happened to her.
She said that she did not believe that the employee was told by a superior to ask her to leave, but instead made a decision on his own. The woman went into the ferry terminal directly afterwards to report the incident to a supervisor.
“He didn’t know what to say — he couldn’t even comment,” the woman said.
She subsequently telephoned a manager and left a message.
“I was crying on the phone because I was so embarrassed, so hurt, to be treated like that unnecessarily,” she said.
“And it hurt me more because I am a Bermudian and you are treating me like I don’t matter any more because these tourists are here.”
Reached by phone yesterday, the manager identified by the woman said he was unable to answer questions about the alleged incident and directed all queries to the Department of Communications. He did confirm, however, that he had spoken with the woman, and that the matter had “been resolved”.
Requests for comment sent to the department were not responded to by press time yesterday.
The woman, who said she had already been warned by bus drivers about the coming influx of tourists and the limited supply of buses, said she thought similar incidents would occur with coming summer events, including the America’s Cup.
“This is going to get worse.”
She said she shared her story in an effort to prevent a similar incident from happening to someone else. “I would never want someone to go through what I went through,” she said.
“It was horrible. It’s really hurt my spirit.”
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