Fallout From Harbour Master’s Seizure In Grenada: Partygoers Left Onshore

(TT NEWSDAY) – Approximately 100 partygoers who were supposed to board the Gimme Liquor boat cruise, which was originally scheduled for the now-arrested Harbour Master boat, had to return home with their coolers filled with drinks on Sunday after a smaller replacement boat could not facilitate them.

Newsday understands police were at King’s Wharf, San Fernando, on Sunday afternoon to ensure the replacement boat did not sail over its capacity.

Organisers of the event told Newsday that after the Harbour Master was ordered by a Grenadian court to remain there, they had to book another vessel, which has about half the capacity.

“We already paid Harbour Master and now have to pay Sea Champion, so both ways we are losing. We had over 400 people booked for the event and the Sea Champion could only hold 290, that is what maritime officials told us.”

The promoter, who asked not to be named, said there were angry patrons waiting onshore to find out what would happen to their tickets – whether they would be refunded or used at a later event. He added that those who boarded the Sea Champion were among those who arrived first, on a first-come, first-sail basis.

He said to facilitate those left behind, there was a plan to rent another vessel and have the two sail alongside each other, but that too had to be cancelled. He said there has been no conversation yet with the management of the Harbour Master about refunding.

The Harbour Master was arrested along with six Trinidadian men, including a police officer, after last Wednesday night’s alleged assault on Grenada’s sporting hero Anderson Peters. The men are expected to appear in court on Monday.

John Alexander, 55, a deckhand from Arima; Mikhail John, 35, a sailor from San Juan; Captain Noel Cooper, 42; sailors Lance Wiggins, 45, and Sheon Jack, 28, both from Cocorite, were all charged with causing grievous harm and stealing. Maraval police officer Abiola Benjamin, 40, was also charged with assaulting Peters.

Alexander, John, Cooper, Wiggins and Jack were also charged with causing grievous harm to Kiddon Peters, Anderson’s brother.

On Sunday, Peters, the reigning world javelin champion, spoke out for the first time since the incident. In a Facebook post, Peters said since the incident it has been a rollercoaster for him, having gone from his silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, to the alleged assault.

“I know that you’re all concerned about my well-being, so please know that I’m feeling better than I was in the immediate aftermath. But it will be a long road to full recovery,” he said adding that he wanted positive thoughts for his brother as a result of the “de-humanising act.”

Varying video clips on social media showed what appeared to be Peters being thrown into the sea where the boat was docked. Different angles showed him backing away from someone and falling into the water. All videos showed him exchanging blows with at least three men while others held or tried to hold him.

The captain of the vessel said in a public statement on Saturday that the fight happened after Peters allegedly spat at him and tried to cuff him, causing his crew to become enraged. He said this happened after he had asked Peters four times to leave the vessel as it was preparing for another sailing.

With the Harbour Master impounded for an unknown time, other promoters said they are preparing backup plans while one said he will “wait and see.” The promoters asked for their event not to be named and also asked not be identified.

One of the events, scheduled for later this month, has approximately 500 tickets sold. Even though the Harbour Master is the only vessel with that capacity, the promoter was not worried.

“Our event is still some time away and we know the court date is tomorrow. Adrian (Scoon, one of the directors of the Harbour Master) is usually upfront with us with information. We saw what happened, but we have not called him yet. Worst-case scenario is we will have to postpone our event, but we will wait and see what happens this week.”

Another promoter with an event next month said he will also be waiting to see what becomes of the vessel, but has already started making backup plans.

“Our event has some time again, so I believe that we have time for the situation to be worked out and, in the interim, we will be looking for alternative venues.

“To change the venue now might have extra costs that we did not cater for. We are already at the height of our promotions.”

He added that the impounding of the vessel is affecting other promoters, and what is worse was a lack of communication from the management of the Harbour Master.

“What happened over there, I don’t think it warrants holding the vessel. I hope the Minister of Foreign Affairs would get involved to manage the situation.”

Newsday contacted an official at Harbour Master who declined comment, but promised to forward questions to one of the directors.