By Demion McTair. Posted 5:55 a.m., Updated 7:32 a.m., Tuesday, June 23, 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
Kingstown, St. Vincent (ONE NEWS SVG) – St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), is scheduled to have a nautical ambulance vessel that will be equipped to fight fires.
Prime Minister and minster responsible for national security, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told Parliament on Monday (June 22) that Damen Shipyard Group signed a contract with the Ministry of National Security Air and Seaport Development on May 26, for the delivery of a Damen Stan Patrol Vessel, SPA 1605.
“The SPA will operate as an emergency response vessel primarily as a nautical ambulance” – prime minister Gonsalves told Parliament.
The vessel is expected to arrive in St. Vincent at October 2020, the latest.
The cost of the vessel is EC$4.391 million dollars.
According to the agreement, “a 15 percent deposit is to be paid, a sum of EC$658,736.86 dollars. The first installment was actually paid on the 26th of May, the first installment of 10 percent – EC$439,157 dollars”, Dr. Gonsalves said.
“The five (5) percent second installment, as part of the deposit, is to be paid as per the contract, 2 weeks before delivery. So, we have a EC$219,580 dollars to be paid before we receive the vessel”, the Prime Minister added.
The 52 feet long, 16 feet wide vessel will be outfitted with firefighting gear and medical emergency response apparatus such as stretchers, the prime minister said.
The prime minister’s announcement comes just over a month since the May 19 gas station explosion on Union Island which went up in flames, eventually resulting in the death of three individuals who suffered burns.
The fire was put out partly due to the intervention of the privately-run MV Gem Star and the SVG Cost Guard.