SV Ruth takes to the seas
After being under construction for more than 10 years, the SV Ruth took to the seas at Browne’s beach this morning in what is anticipated to be a boost to the food security thrust in the region.
Powered by wind and solar energy, the schooner will sail the Barbados to Dominica route under a pilot project.
Scores of residents flocked the beach, among them acting Prime Minister Richard Sealy and Principal of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Sir Hilary Beckles, for the commissioning.
Minister Sealy said he hoped this would lead to the resurgence of maritime transport between Barbados and the Caribbean, while
noting that this country’s history in inter-regional agricultural trade goes as far back as the 1950s.
He described the initiative as bold, and said hoped it would be mimicked by others in the region.
While noting the partners who were involved in the initiative, Sir Hilary said bringing it to reality was a “triumph” of entrepreneurship, international diplomacy, and UWI project management.
“For many decades we have tried our best in this region to give effect to the movement of food between these islands to remove volatility in prices and to enhance the quality of our produce and to lower the cost of foodstuff in each island while improving, at the same time, the quality,” Sir Hilary noted.
“This project is part of that continuing relationship of moving the university into the heartland of entrepreneurship and to participate with all of our international investors in adding value and developing projects for Caribbean peoples.”
Meantime, chief executive officer of SV Ruth Limited Ian Dash said despite the time taken to complete the vessel, which he conceptualized as a young boy, he remained very committed.
He used his struggles as an example to the country’s youth that they should never give up their dreams.
“The struggle will be long, definitely real. There may be lots of tears and unprecedented amounts of worry, stress and sleepless nights literally to get here. But, if I can do it, you can do it too,” Dash said.
“Go after your dreams brick by brick and day by day and one day soon you will right here in the reality of that dream.”
The SV Ruth is the first vessel to be commissioned under the Caribbean Sail Cargo Initiative, a project of the Centre for Food Security and Entrepreneurship.
That project focuses on the marine shipping sector between the Windward Islands, Barbados, and Trinidad.