May 1, 2001 – The Roanoke, the barge involved in a head-on collision with the ferry Caribe Tide outside Cruz Bay on March 9, "will not be approved as seaworthy until major outstanding deficiencies are corrected," Lt. Kevin Smith, spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard, said Tuesday.
In order to get permission resume operations, Smith said, the barge must pass a Coast Guard inspection. Owner/operator Stanley Hedrington must request the inspection, and "to date he has not" made such a request, the Coast Guard officer added.
Hedrington, president of Global Marine, the company that owns the Roanoke, had hoped to have his barge back in service on Wednesday for the 11 a.m run from St. John to St. Thomas, according to company official Rose Hedrington.
Among the vessel's major deficiencies, Smith said, "the hatches on the Roanoke are cracked, raising questions about the integrity of water tightness." The hatches must close securely to prevent "water from seeping into the main deck," he said.
Also, the Coast Guard officer said, the mast headlight must be fixed, repairs and adjustments to the ramp must be made, and some minor electrical problems must be addressed.
The damage to the Roanoke — which operated in the territory for a time last year as the Tuglife — resulted from the collision between the barge and the Caribe Tide. There were no serious injuries in the accident, but some 20 passengers were treated at the Myrah Keating Smith Clinic on St. John and four were transported to Roy L. Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas for medical attention.
According to Smith, the ramp of the Roanoke was severely damaged in the collision. In order to pass inspection, he said, any and all damage to "no-fail items" on the inspection list must be corrected. He said "no-fail items" involve major repairs.
Rose Hedrington said Stanley Hedrington is doing all he can to comply with Coast Guard requirements.

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