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Port: Off-limits

CARLOS ATWELL, [email protected]

Port: Off-limits

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A long-time haunt for lovers of the outdoors at Spring Garden is now out of bounds.

Additionally, trespassers at the popular flour mill site are being warned that they may be prosecuted.

In the case of minors, the Barbados Port Inc said parents would be held accountable for any juvenile trespassing or liable for any loss/damage they caused.

Recently, the Port moved to block those who once swam, fished, snorkelled and dived in the harbour basin by fencing it off and posting several warning signs.

Its recent published warnings advising people not to encroach on the property have not always been heeded as some youngsters continue to leap into the dangerous waters of the shallow draught – a practice that has been going on for decades.

Up to two Sundays ago, several young men were spotted beyond the security fences diving into the waters near the flour mill/Rock Hard Cement.

Head of security at BPI, Lieutenant Commander Fernella Cordle said she understood the attraction but urged Barbadians to act more responsibly.

“I know it’s part of our culture but I don’t think people understand the dangers involved swimming in an area where you have vessels operating machinery. There have actually been deaths out there in the past. We have strict security guidelines for operating a port we have to follow – the International Ship and Port Security Code – and we do not want anything unfortunate to happen.

“Over the years, we noticed numerous incidents in the shallow area such as the flour mill but we can ill afford for that to continue,” she said.

Ads have appeared in the Press informing the public the land was private property and any unauthorised entry was trespassing and thus unlawful. The BPI also made clear the liability of the parents of any minors.

Cordle said the area was fenced with barbed wire across the top but she noticed perpetrators managed to prise the fencing and go under, damaging it in the process.

“They’re trespassing and, obviously, we don’t want something to happen. It is truly in their best interest not to breach the fence. We started with ads in the papers and plan to follow up with public service announcements on electronic media,” she said.

Cordle said those who liked to park near the fence to view the ships or have a meal were not an issue as they were beyond the fencing and not on the property. (CA)