A call to action over Esperanza
With 2020-21 island boat registrations around the corner, can I plead with the harbourmaster, the Director of Marine and Ports and the Minister of National Security to do something about the unsightly floating hunk of metal known as the MV Esperanza.
Purchased by its present owner in 2013 as a project and brought to Bermuda in 2015 with hopes of a live-on board charter fishing business:
• The owner lost his job and was unable to pay the insurance for this
• The boat was put at anchor while “work” was done
• Broke loose multiple times from anchorage and had to be saved by the pilot boat, often moved to the pancake buoy then back to anchor
She sank during Hurricane Nicole in 2016 when tied alongside Marginal Wharf:
• Raised up with airbags purchased by the owner, who was still out of work and had to secure part-time jobs
• The boat was towed to her existing position, as the airport development required Marginal Wharf to be cleared
During a winter storm in March 2019, the Esperanza broke loose, ending up in the Narrows Bay on top of private boats. The owner claimed that someone cut the mooring in an act of sabotage.
Fast-forward 14 months later, as we head into what is predicted to be an above-normal hurricane season, she is in the worse shape ever.
The owner hasn't laid a finger on her since March 2019, his only interaction coming from riding his bike around to vantage points on St David's Island to make sure the boat is still afloat.
I think it is fair to say that the Esperanza will never be restored and that something needs to be done before it causes some serious damage.
J. ANDREW POWELL Jr