MARIGOT–Following Saturday’s accident on the Marigot waterfront where a taxi minibus ran into the bay with fourteen cruise ship passengers on board, concerns have been raised, by the taxi profession itself, that controls and regulation of the profession is seriously lacking on both sides of the island.
According to reliable sources it emerged yesterday that there is a practice of sub-renting the taxi permit. The owner of Dutch-side registered taxi T-367 which was involved in the accident is a lady from the Dutch side.
The same taxi was being rented by another person who in turn made the vehicle available for the day to the driver who was involved in the accident and who allegedly drives T-82, raising questions as to whether the latter (a) had experience, driving license, permits etcetera and (b) if he was a genuine taxi driver authorized to carry passengers.
Questioned on this Lt. Colonel Sébastien Manzoni from the Gendarmerie could not immediately answer as he is not involved in the case but said he is aware of the sub-renting practice.
He said Saturday’s incident is still under close investigation by the Gendarmerie and Police Territorial and agreed stepping up controls on taxis and re-establishing the rules for cross-border transportation is needed.
Préfète Déléguée Sylvie Feucher meanwhile announced the five young men who helped save the cruise ship passengers will be honoured at a medal ceremony to be announced later. They will be presented with a Bronze Medal for Courage and Dedication. The Préfète personally went to thank the young rescuers shortly after the accident.
The five recipients are: Enderson Lovinsti, Steve Artsen, Brisaxelle Richardson, Raheim Louis-Wilson and Rajjanie Louis.