…after promised emergency vessel no-showAlthough emergency vessels were promised to remain on standby at the Georgetown and Vreed-en-Hoop Stellings to transport ailing persons, a furious caretaker vented her frustration as a dialysis patient was made to use the regular boat service.The dialysis patient being assisted into the speed boatIn a brief interview with this publication on Tuesday morning, the frustrated woman, who gave her name only as Sandra, explained that she travelled from Hague, West Coast Demerara to the Vreed-en-Hoop Stelling with the sickly 64-year-old man, who usually gets treatment at a private city hospital.Unaware of what she was about to encounter, the caretaker said she was greeted by a group of Police officers at the Vreed-en-Hoop junction, who allowed the taxi to pass into the stelling. However, employees at the stelling were insisting that they pay a fee before entering the facility with the patient. The elderly woman said they were harassed and treated very unfairly by the staff at the stelling.In the meantime, the ailing man was seen wearisomely making his way into the boat. He took quite a while to enter and get off the speed boat, with the assistance of a few other passengers. The visibly uncomfortable man was observed sweating profusely as he groaned in pain throughout the journey.The sick man, as well as other passengers, were forced to use the boat service to cross the Demerara River after a barge and a tug slammed into the Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB) in the wee hours of Monday.Whilst the boat service would usually commence operations at 06:00h every morning, provisions were made for the commuters to cross earlier.Preliminary investigations revealed that the barge was beyond its anchorage location. After the vessel started drifting, a distress call was sent out, but no one on-board spoke English. The crew members have since been detained as investigations continued.Meanwhile, General Manager of the Bridge Corporation, Rawlston Adams said that the barge came into contact with the bridge at two locations, and the structure was shifted from its aligned position between the high and retractor spans.The bridge is the main thoroughfare for commuters to drive across to the capital city. An estimated 11,000 persons would use the structure in the morning hours, but the DHB management was expecting maximum traffic Monday morning, since it was the beginning of a new academic year. The bridge has since opened to light traffic.