Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 17th 2018 Contents news A7
Saturday, February 17, 2018
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Let my husband’s death
save other divers—widow
STORIES BY RADHICA DE SILVA
“Do not let my husband’s death go
This was the plea of grieving
widow Pete-Ann Bartholemew after
hearing that the Divers Association
of T&T had failed to secure a meet-
ing with the Bureau of Standards
Board on Thursday.
The Association led by president
Rupert Paul were ready to make
a case for the ban on commercial
scuba diving which they believe
resulted in the death of air diver
Chevonne Bartholemew but after a
misunderstanding, they were told
the meeting was not on.
Saying the diving fraternity will
be holding discussions on their
next course of action, Paul said they
were now planning to take their
case before Trade Minister Paula
Gopee-Scoon, under whose ambit
the Bureau of Standard falls.
The Bureau is charged with en-
forcing proper standards as it re-
lates to industrial efficiency, public
and industrial welfare as well as
health, safety and environmental
However, executive member of
the Divers Association Daniel Pierre
said a Bureau of Standards official
told them since the matter was now
a death, it was being handled by the
Occupational Safety and Health Au-
He said the Bureau had no author-
ity to implement legislative changes
but could make a recommendation.
Meanwhile, Pete-Ann said she did
not want other divers to suffer the
same fate as her husband.
Calling on all agencies to get in-
volved, Pete-Ann said, “Do not let
my husband’s death go in vain. It is
time to act. Act now and stop com-
mercial scuba diving.”
In a Facebook post entitled Day
18 — My Heart, Pete-Ann described
the bond she shared with her late
“We’ve been married for almost
14 years ( June 5th). He loved me
from a teenager..and boy....he loved
me...wholeheartedly. You know the
good...faithful ones....you could
TRUST....wholly invested in his chil-
dren...in me. Willing to move moun-
tains...so we could be happy....and
we were,” she wrote.
She added that her children still
do not believe their father was dead.
Bartholemew, 37, of Valencia was
sent on a 65 feet dive off Gasparee
Island, Chaguaramas on January 29
to inspect the C-Spirit oil tanker, but
he never made it out alive. His body
was found two weeks later floating
in the Gulf of Paria off Cedros.
He was employed with Trindives
Funeral arrangements are ex-
pected to take place on Monday at
Faith Assembly Church in Five Riv-
An investigation is underway into
his death and family have already
sought advice from a senior coun-
sel. An autopsy done on his body
ruled out foul play.
Geologists: No sign of activity
at Digity mud volcanoes
Geologists are now saying there
are no signs of activity at the Digity
Trace mud volcanoes in Penal, even
though they are geologically related
to the ones at Devil’s Woodyard, in
Hindustan, which erupted on Carni-
Stefon Harrypersad, of the Geo-
logical Society of T&T (GSTT), said a
team visited the Digity volcanoes to
assess whether there were any gas
emissions or signs of activity.
“We will be returning to Devil’s
Woodyard with another team from
the Society to do another assess-
ment and chat with the folks at the
corporation about our observa-
tions,” he said.
Harrypersad said the Society will
also be doing public lectures to raise
awareness about the volcanoes.
In a previous interview, Harryper-
sad said the Digity Trace volcano “is
along the same anticline called the
Penal/Barrackpore anticline. (An
anticline is a ridge or fold of strat-
ified rock in which the strata slope
downwards from the crest.
There is a chance that both vol-
canoes may be linked so we will be
monitoring that one to see if there
are any chances of eruptions occur-
ring in that area.
That site is not near any villages
but it is a picnic site and we will
then advise if they need to have
areas cordoned off or not.”
Meanwhile, the Office of Disaster
Preparedness (ODPM) said the Soci-
ety and Environmental Management
Authority (EMA) are continuing
to assess the volcano which is still
off-limits to the public.
Hindustan Road is still closed to
vehicular and pedestrian traffic ex-
cept for people who reside there.
Chairman of the Penal/Debe Re-
gional Corporation Gowrie Roo-
pnarine said the corporation is
considering charging a fee to visi-
tors and any money earned will go
towards repairing the toilets and
walkways at the site.
He said it will cost more than $1
million to repair the facility.
“We have a caretaker on the
grounds during the day and we pay
a team to cut and maintain the area
so we are really considering charg-
ing a fee,” he said.
Roopnarine said the road leading
to Devil’s Woodyard is in a deplora-
ble state and with local and interna-
tional tourists interested in visiting
He appealed to Works Minister
Rohan Sinanan to fix it as soon as
Sinanan said yesterday he will
send a team of engineers to assess
the roads and temporary repairs
will be done if it was needed.
Local Government Minister Kazim
Hosein said he plans to visit the site
No funds yet for
local Govt bodies
Municipal and regional corporation heads are still in the
dark over the release of funding desperately needed to
execute critical projects in their constituencies.
Funds were supposed to be released for the PNM-con-
trolled San Fernando City Corporation and Tunapuna/
Piarco Regional Corporation as well as the UNC-con-
trolled Penal/Debe and the Couva/Talparo Regional
Corporations since January but to date, they have not
been released by the Ministry of Finance.
Finance Minister Colm Imbert yesterday distanced
himself from the non-release of funds saying it fell under
the purview of the Ministry of Local Government.
Asked when corporations could expect a release of
funds for roads, drainage, bridges and irrigation projects
in the constituencies via a WhatsApp message, Imbert
responded, “This is a matter for the Ministry of Local
Government. Requests for the funds for municipal cor-
porations are processed through that Ministry. I would
therefore not be privy to the status of every request for
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