Novice captains to take pleasure boat tests

| 29/10/2015 | 32 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): A private member’s motion to introduce a safety test for owners of pleasure boats over 21 feet and with over 150HP engines has been accepted by government. The motion was brought to the Legislative Assembly by Ezzard Miller, who said the law does not currently require owners to have any knowledge of the Port Authority regulations regarding watercraft safety. With the growing number and size of pleasure boats on the water that are owned by novice pilots, the goal is to ensure that they pass a test before registering and licensing their boats to show that they know the rules of the water.

Without a test, Miller said, there is no way to be sure boat owners know what they are doing.

“I am not asking the Port Authority to write a whole pile of legislation but to introduce a way to test people,” he said, adding that if anyone doubted the need they should visit Rum Point late on a Sunday afternoon and witness the chaos. “There are enough boats out there on the water being driven by owners who have no knowledge of the rules. It is time for government to put something in place.”

Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell agreed with Miller that there was an increase in pleasure boats and their size and speed being piloted by owners who don’t have experience. Since the motion does not require any more potential red-tape, as it is linked to the licensing process, he said the government would accept the motion and look at devising a test for owners to take before they can register vessels over 21 feet and with more than 150HP engines.

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Comments (32)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This would be a great idea if it were driven by intelligence.

  2. Anonymous says:

    For all you anonymous persons who believe you know the law SURPRIZE the law is already there to license your boats check the The Port Authority Regulations (2011 Revision) part V11
    Jet ski boat or wave runner for commercial purposes $150
    Local boats 21′ to 30 $200
    Local boats 31′ to 50″ $300
    local boats 51″ to 75″ $500
    Local boats over 75″ $1,000.
    All fees due before January 31 each year.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Is there an exemption if you have nubile scantily clad ladies on board?

  4. Rp says:

    This is typical cig job creation. The dept will be losing money as it is customary in cig because they can’t enforce the licensing. Who is going to stop boats oin the sound and ask for licensing?

    on top of it, it should be the commercial captains who need to be reminded the rules. They show no courtesy to other boats especially at sting ray city. They seem to think that because they are larger, they can anchor on top of small pleasure boats. Had my trip cut short last time as a captain anchored his boat 6ft away from mine as if he was parking his car in the foster’s parking lot. After a couple of bumps port side, I had no choice but to pull out and go somewhere else.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I hope we are allowed to take the test drunk so as to simulate true boating conditions.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is just another tax and reason to employ people. You will probably need to go down to the driving license centre, answer some really difficult questions like, “what is your name?”, “what colour is your boat?”, and if you get those correct and pay a $100 fee you get yourself a new license…similar to the driving test…

  7. Anonymous says:

    The commercial boat operators need to be licensed more than the pleasure boat operators. At the sandbar one week ago there was a commercial operator who scared my visitors terribly by almost running them over. Commercial captains should be required to do the test also.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Goverment can’t get their accounts straight… are they gone enforce this??

  9. Anonymous says:

    More red tape, more processes to implement, more costs to regulate, more lapses in regulation and enforcement, more of the same recipe – less despite more! As usual – let’s implement a new law to address a problem instead of other approaches!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Ezzard could start off with the RCIPS Marine Unit? Their record is pretty abysmal.

  11. Anonymous says:

    what about registering the boats, not just the operators? What if I call myself Captain, am I exempt? Just another law that will never be enforced.

  12. Anonymous says:

    ALL persons who own a boat should be required to have some kind of licence, not just up to 21ft in length…. My boat is 20ft or less means I know what I’m doing and don’t need a licence, over 21ft I’m and idiot and do need a licence.., Come on, if your going to do it do it right the first time not the Cayman way!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I agree with the idea of certifying boat owners, there are some truly ignorant boaters out there.

    But, this should apply to all powered watercraft irrespective of size or horsepower. I have seen parents give their kids 16-20 foot boats that are capable of much higher speeds than the larger boats. They zip around like crazy with zero understanding of the laws, and a prop spinning at 5000 RPM whether it’s a 15HP or a 250HP makes for a similar result when it hits a person in the water.

    Also, what about the folks out fishing on the North Sound at night on small boats, with no nav lights, or anchor lights?

    Once implemented, how will this be policed and enforced?

    Making this applicable to all watercraft would compel Ezzard to be tested as well! That’s leading by a good example.

  14. Anonymous says:

    “Without a test, Miller said, there is no way to be sure boat owners know what they are doing.”
    likewise to politicians and the LA

  15. Anonymous says:

    Can we get tests for LA members on financial knowledge? Passing 6th grade would be better than we seem to have now…

  16. Clean The House says:

    I hereby move a motion for all nominated electoral candidates to be subject to an IQ test.

  17. Capt Blow Hard says:

    “Big government” Ezzard never saw a regulation he didn’t like. Until a few of his boat owning constituents fail the test. Then he and the other supporters of this bureaucratic harassment will quietly go full astern.

  18. Anonymous says:

    They also need to make sure it applies to the owners of all rental boats, requiring appropriate proof that a renter knows what they are doing, whatever size boat. I was once asked by a tourist at the Sand Bar in a rental boat how to drop anchor, this was after he nearly motored in to my anchor line.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Anyone remember the Complaint Commissioners report on Safety of Small Commercial Waterborne Vessels? It was published just about nine years ago and vanished without a trace. If I remember correctly it was killed off by lobbying from certain section of the water sports community.

    Mr Miller apparently also had a go at the standard of dive boat operation, particularly those operated by ex-pats. Oddly, in over 20 years of diving these islands the only scary trips I can remember involved one particular dive centre where the boat captain was the owner’s son – he’s a Caymanian. In fact over recent years most of the dive centres have introduced some kind of training for dive boat skippers, maybe Mr Miller hasn’t noticed this?

    Methinks Ezzard is grandstanding again here. Just for the record I have RYA Power Boat and VHF radio qualifications plus a PADI Small Boat Handler Specialty so I clearly agree that qualifications are a good idea but not when used as political ammunition.

  20. Kim says:

    How about enforcing the road traffic laws that actually exist and are being blatantly ignored by a large number of drivers who speed and still use their cell phones instead of trying to introduce more legislation that, on water, will be even more difficult to police?

  21. Leisure Boat Larry says:

    Lol. They have as much chance of enforcing that as Allahden has of finding funding for his fairytale cruise piers. Praise be to Allahden!

  22. Anonymous says:

    More pointless Government red tape. How many boating accidents/incidents have there been? I can only think of one in the past few years, and that was due to the ‘captain’ being drunk rather than inexperience

  23. Anonymous says:

    yawn…more miller red tape….
    they would be better served enforcing the rules of the road and catching dangerous drivers that actually kill people….

  24. Anonymous says:

    Kids on jet skis have always been the main marine park violators and the ones with greatest propensity for harming themselves and others. Make the test for everyone over 16 operating a marine craft. Limit kids under 16 to under 40hp.

  25. philip says:

    The big problem i see here is that no one pays the boat licensing fees, start enforcing that!, then make sure the money that is raised from the fees going to the on going maintance of channel markers thought the islands, which frankly are a joke , even Cuba has better maintaned navigation lights than here.

  26. Cheese Face says:

    Will our drug smugglers have to take this test?

  27. Anonymous says:

    Since no-one registers their vessels and no-one makes them, there is no change. Blah Blah Blah…

  28. Anonymous says:

    As a boat owner and one who has enjoyed the Cayman Waters, in particular the North Sound and Rum Point for over 55 years, I welcome this initiative.

  29. Yo No Soy Marinero says:

    Enforce that if you good. What a joke.

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