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GT harbour channel markers replaced by Port

| 30/11/2016 | 14 Comments

(CNS): Staff at the Department of Environment have been unfairly criticized this week over missing channel markers in the George Town Harbour because it is the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands and not that department which is responsible for them. However, the DoE has confirmed that after conversations with the PACI, the frequently damaged markers have been replaced. The DoE team has been blamed for a lack of response to public requests for the replacement of the markers at the channel entrance to George Town Harbour but it is the port that installs and maintains navigational, swim area and reef entrance channel markers.

But given the experience and resources that the environment team has for installing and maintaining over 375 public moorings for use by dive, recreational and visiting boats, when asked it has helped the Port Authority to install its markers.

Speaking about the missing navigational markers in George Town Harbour, the DoE said it had received a call from the owner of Paradise Bar and Grill, who was referred to the Port Authority so that the necessary action could be taken, and the port confirmed that the navigation markers were reinstalled but noted that these markers “are subject to frequent damage”.

The issue was raised following the extensive damage caused to the reef in the capital’s harbour after the 300 ft Saga cargo vessel ran aground on Friday.

The DoE also said that there is a public misconception being circulated that the missing buoys in this area are part of the Marine Park Boundary markers and that Eden Rock and Paradise Reef are a separate marine protected area.

“Eden Rock is currently included in the West Side Marine Park that extends from North West Point to South West Point — Sand Cay Apartments —  and to the 80ft. contour or ‘Drop Off’. The boundaries of this West Side Marine Park are marked by onshore range markers and spar buoys which are installed and maintained by the DoE,” officials said in a statement.

“As is normal practice, when an incident resulting in damage to natural resources occurs, the DoE will review, with relevant stakeholders, the circumstances and contributing factors to determine what improvements could be implemented to prevent reoccurrence,” the DoE said, adding that it remains “entirely committed to safeguarding the Cayman Islands’ natural resources”.

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Category: Local News

Comments (14)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t believe for one second that the careless captain of the Saga would have turned at the correct time if there had been a little buoy there to mark the swim zone. The buoys were not even navigation buoys, but ones for swimmers.




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    • Anonymous says:

      You’re right because there *was* a dive-flag marker buoy for the swim zone, when I went out not long after it looked to me like the Saga ran right over it, sheared it off its rope, and broke it into pieces, which were visible in a line from the coral head by the big concrete mooring block to the reef the boat plowed into. From their trajectory, they would have run over at least one boat mooring, too, if the reef hadn’t gotten in the way.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    Nothing will be done or change. No one is accountable. We need new leaders.




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  3. Gowment says:

    Deflect. Blame. Dodge. It’s the CIG way!




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Time for required Pilots. Of course this then puts the liability on Government. We know government does not like accepting responsibility.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    It will be interesting to hear what the attorneys for the shipping co. has to say about the DOE. spin on this incident




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  6. Anonymous says:

    So the boys are not responsible for the buoys, that’s the job of the other boyz. All is resoundingly clear. But nonetheless, marking ship channels is nearly always the responsibility of the Port Authority wherever you are, and if I were the ship that grounded, I would be suing there a$$es for dereliction of duty. How the hell are they supposed to know where not to go if it ain’t marked?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Oh I don’t know… Navigational charts, GPS and what have you…




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    • Anonymous says:

      Uh, maybe because they stated they could do it themselves and did not require the assistance of our nav people.. Or they have been in our harbour on numerous occasions and should have a good idea where NOT to be!?
      No matter what, this is overkill. He kept on and on and did not stop until it was almost completely destroyed.
      He should be fired.
      And it should be a requirement to use our port captains.




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  7. Jotnar says:

    So are the buoys there, or not? The release seems to gloss over that. Wonder why.




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  8. Sharkey says:

    I smell the fox coming into the hen house in this article , and nothing more than new markers would be put down to mark the channel to the port dock . And the Saga must continue it’s voyage .




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  9. Anonymous says:

    civil service at its best!….time for more awards franz!




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