Following a ferry accident on Saturday, August 26, in St Barts involving Voyager 1, Prosecutor Yves Paillard has stated that the Gendarmerie have launched an investigation.
Voyager 1 struck a rock near passing Ile Fourche at 7:20pm, due to bad weather and poor visibility.
Capitaine Régis Turlan Arto said that a malfunction with the vessel’s rudder could have also contributed to the accident.
The vessel, with 31 passengers on board, made its way into the port of Gustavia as the damage was “above the water line”. Three passengers and one crew member were reportedly “slightly hurt” in the accident but released after medical examinations.
Managing Director of Voyager Ferries, Jean-Claude Latournerie, said following the incident, “All I know is that there was bad weather at the time of the accident, somewhere at the middle of the crossing.
“The ferry is back in Oyster Pond. No water got into the vessel and I must stress all the passengers and crew were safe and accounted for. At this point I don’t know the extent of the damage.”
Prosecutor Paillard said in a statement that “the preliminary inquiry opened by the Brigade Nautique of the Gendarmerie will look at the navigation systems and check for proper functioning of that equipment”.
The company, which has three vessels in its fleet, Voyager 1 and 2 and Voyager Dreamliner, has temporarily suspended its service to St. Barths as the Voyager 3 is also awaiting parts.
According to Voyager’s Facebook page, Voyager shuttles is the leading transport company between St Martin and St Barth and since 1995, have traveled a distance equivalent to 15 times around the earth, carried more than one million passengers.