Scuttling of MV Trident

JANELLE HUSBANDS, Barbados Advocate


April 29, 2016

FOR 28 years the MV Trident gave distinguished service to Barbados and the region.
Now in her final resting place at the bottom of the sea, she will continue to the serve the island in another important capacity, by providing a home for marine life in the Carlisle Bay Marine Park.
Yesterday morning, the bay was a hive of activity as persons, armed with their cameras and braving the hot sun, came out to witness the historic occasion, the scuttling of the ship which was officially commissioned in 1982 after sailing some 26 days from England.

MV Trident going down 90 feet. (N.Brathwaite/BDF)

The shore was packed with persons, but the water proved to be a better vantage point for those who used pleasure crafts, fishing vessels, jet skis and kayaks on the pristine waters on the south coast of the island. There was even a drone capturing the ship’s final descent.
While it was a magnificent spectacle for those who came out to witness the event, it was bittersweet for the crew who actually worked on this warship since the 1980s, some of whom brought the ship home from England three decades ago.
They, along with members of the media and other officials witnessed the scuttling on board the new HMBS Trident yesterday morning.
At just around 10:25 am there were some anxious gazes as the boat started to lean on the port side. As water started to fill the stern of the ship, the ship levelled off and by 10:31, the former crew members could only look on with forlorn faces and disbelief as the bow of the ship elevated in the air as if giving her final salute to her crew before rapidly disappearing into 90 feet of water.
Retired member of the Coast Guard Trevor Peterson was one of the persons who admitted it was an emotional day for him, since he won a competition back in the 1980s to name the ship. He recalled that he won $35 in that competition, but noted that the honour of naming the ship was priceless.
Richard Selman Retired Sub Lieutenant joined the Coast Guard from inception until 1995 and told the media: “It is a sad feeling seeing. So many memories [are] going below the water. I’m happy to be a part of the history, but sad to see this.”

Video by (Caribbean Aerial Photography) 

Ronald Kellman was the Chief Electrician on board the Trident when it sailed from England to Barbados in record time. He said, “We passed through a place called the roughest sea in the world, the Bay of Biscay. A big container came in behind us and we made it all the way to Barbados.”
Lennox Carter who was an able-seaman in 1981 recalls the training which the crew underwent in England and the long journey back home. “It was my first time seeing such big waves… waves breaking across the wheelhouse which is the uppermost part of the deck. I wouldn’t say I was scared, I was just worried at the time. On the trip across it was done in record time and it was one of the smoothest sailing trips we have ever had. Two days after we passed through a container sank in the Bay of Biscay,” he said.
While the sinking appeared to occur in just about six minutes, officials explained that the stripping and sanitising of the boat was carried out two months ago. The ship was towed to the Marine Park yesterday and was strategically placed to fall in the vicinity of two other ships, to form a triangle.
The warship joins six other shipwrecks in the Carlisle Bay Marine Park including the Stavronikita which was sunk in 1978, the well known Bajan Queen which went down in May 2002. The ship was decommissioned on 25 April 2009.