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Operators in hot water


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Water sports operators have  been warned that unless they comply with regulations governing  the sector, they will face sanctions  by the relevant authorities.Shipping Superintendent Walter Best has indicated that over the years Government’s  International Transport Division has had to  grapple with  various levels of indiscipline among some operators, with infractions ranging from driving without a licence, to speeding and driving vessels into buoyed  swimming areas. This conduct has posed a threat to the safety of passengers and other beach users.Noting that the enforcement agencies, the Barbados Coast Guard and the Royal Barbados Police Force’s marine arm,  had been unrelenting in their commitment to ensuring the safety  of shipping in Barbados, Best disclosed that joint efforts to crack down on indiscipline would be ongoing.“Enforcement agencies have been targeting areas of concern known  to have undesirable activity, and they have been reaping much success.  Similar operations will continue  to be carried out,” he saidd,  while maintaining that not all operators were guilty.With the water sports sector being  an integral part of the tourism product, the International Transport official indicated that operators needed to ply their trade in an orderly manner in an effort to ensure the safety of their clients and  other beach users, as well  as to protect their livelihood.Citing the Shipping (Watersports) Regulations 2004 governing the sector, Best underscored the need for adherence to these basic rules, which include the mandatory acquisition of insurance for third party risks, safety inspections  of vessels, and operating watercraft  in designated zones. (BGIS)