ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada (eTN) – A low pressure system over the North Atlantic which generated huge high swells across the Caribbean forced cruise ships to leave Grenada on Thursday.
Two cruise ships sailed away from Grenada as the waves battered the western and southern coasts and the main cruise terminal in the city. Tourism officials confirmed that the Club Med 2 and the Emerald Princess which were scheduled to bring more than 4,000 passengers to the island had departed for better sea conditions.
“The Emerald Princess was able to berth but the passengers were not able to disembark because of the rough water,” said Ian Evan of the Grenada Port
Authority. “The constant battering of the ship did not allow the gangway to settle so after an hour of trying the management of the ship decided to leave Grenada.”
The waves pounded western coast and the sea defense near the cruise terminal and pedestrians were constantly warned to avoid walking in the area as the water flooded parts of the city on a day that was filled with sunshine.
Some of the rocks used to build the sea defense as a mean of protection on the reclaim land were thrown into the roadway as the waves battered the coast without mercy.
As tour operators and craft vendors watched the ships sail away, Lawrence Duncan of Huggins Tour said that financially those who depend of the cruise industry lost a lot of money. “It’s hard to quantify it but we lost a lot,” he said.
The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) issued a release since Tuesday urging all boat owners and seafarers to exercise caution over, while vessel operators and fishermen were asked to monitor the sea conditions before venturing out.
The NDMA release added that contingency plans were put in place to deal with any potential significant sea swells and will activate emergency procedures if this becomes necessary.