Marine cops warn captains not to overload boats

| 30/11/2016 | 23 Comments

(CNS): As the Cayman Islands moves into the peak season, the marine police are warning boat captains that they will be enforcing passenger limits. The RCIPS Joint Marine Unit (JMU) said tour boat operators are obligated to keep weight and passenger limits within those specified on their operators’ licences. Overloading a boat with passengers during the busy tourist season, which has been noted in the past, endangers public safety on the water.

“These limits exist for a very good reason,” said Chief Inspector Brad Ebanks, Head of Specialist Units, adding that the choppier water at this time of year already can make boats less stable. “Failing to adhere to passenger limits on top of this presents a clear danger to passengers and crew. Boat operators risk penalties if they do not comply with these regulations.”

Those who wish to report overloaded vessels can contact the Joint Marine Unit during regular business hours at 649-7710 or George Town Police Station anytime at 949-4222.

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Comments (23)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The only good boat load is a fresh one.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Another job for the police marine unit that should be done by others.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ahh yes. Clampdown season is upon us. Clampdown motor bikes. Clampdown tourist boats. I smell a clampdown on drunk driving coming. Tinted windows… clampdown. Shoddy contractors, you guessed it, clampdown. Just love me a good clampdown.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not to worry. like all traffic laws it will only last for a week then its back to the the wild wild west where there are no police in sight.

  4. SSM345 says:

    Wait till they build the cruise piers, then they will really know what overloaded looks like….

  5. Anonymous says:

    that boat on the photo is way oveloaded

  6. Anonymous says:

    Anyone out there remember the Safety of Small Commercial Waterborne Vessels report that was published just over ten years ago? Probably not because it was quickly buried without trace by the watersports operators. If you can find a copy read it – it’s a not just very disturbing but in the decade that’s passed since you’ll find darn little has changed.

  7. Where as I agree that some boats go out overloaded many of them adhere to those safety requirements and run safe trips.One problem I do see with all this is the fact that in my humble opinion these operations are not getting a fair price for sand bar trips etc from the Cruise ships.I have heard this from many operators and I am not the first to bring this to the publics attention.Safety MUST be a priority for obvious reasons but a better price would go a long way to keep numbers at a safe level and this would give our visitors a better experience.Just saying.Happy holidays everyone and be safe.

    • Anonymous says:

      You make it sound like local operators didn’t have a hand in negotiating their own fees, and that safety is a necessary casualty to make up margins for poor negotiating?!? It won’t get any better if pier proceeds – the liners will run their own private label buses and boats to stingray and the local businesses will be put on the ropes. What happens to safety then?

      • Anonymous says:

        Based on experience of the last decade the cruise lines dictate the rates on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis and anyone who challenges that goes out of business. As a result cruise ship passengers pay $80-$90 for Stingray City but the boat operators are lucky if they get $18-$20 out of it. That’s the harsh reality of selling Grand Cayman out to the cruise lines.

  8. Anonymous says:

    How dare our paid officers feel this constant misplaced benevolence to just warn offenders on the very rare instance of apprehending them?!? Who gave them that right? I’m so sick of hearing this. We are broke. Write the ticket and/or appointment the offender earned fair and square. If they do it again, cite them again. Captain don’t like it? Don’t overload your boat! Don’t race jet skis in the 200 yard zone! That’s your job, not to play the role of the merciful, and all-charitable coward. We don’t need any more of that, because it doesn’t have positive deterrent effect – it actually emboldens future violation.

  9. philip says:

    How about the marine unit sit at the mouth of Governors/savehaven channels every busy cruise ship day and put one officer on board the tour boats as they are heading out to do the basic safety checks, life jackets, flares and throw rings, the officers need to be polite with the guests on board and can this can be done in a nice way,one they have finished inspecting have the boat quickly stop pick up the officers and hit the next boat, that way your not delaying the tour boats . any one whom has boated in Florida/ USA will have been boarding by either the Coast Guard or Coast Guard axillary doing exactly what is mentioned above.

    its well know that when the Port Autority guys come to do the annual water sports inspection that certain operators share there safety equipment, perhaps also a mandate that commercial boats must have the name of the boat written on its life jackets/flare kits.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’m a Captain. Because I say so.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Cayman resembles third world countries at times. This is a good example. Laws won’t be enforced until there’s an accident. And then nothing will be done.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Sometimes you wonder if this is Cayman or Haiti with the amount of passengers you see on these stingray city boats.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Captains? What Captains? Most of the guys running these boats are not qualified Captains and therein lies the problem. Navigation skills are enough to get them to the sandbar, but forget about loading, safety, and common sense considerations. But then again, how hard can it be ?

    • Anonymous says:

      But the qualified Captains on the cargo ships and super yachts – continue to destroy our reefs along Seven Mile Beach and the GT Harbor !!!!!

  14. SKEPTICAL says:

    Equally important issues even for boats that are not overloaded are Lifejackets and Insurance.
    What checks are made to ensure there is a life jacket for every passenger and crew member onboard, and that there is adequate Third Party Insurance to cover any claims in the event of an accident.
    Hopefully, local laws and regulations match the standards of say the US Coastguard Service, which are rigorously enforced.

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