Tour company applies to put pontoon at Sandbar

| 09/08/2018 | 101 Comments
Cayman News Service

Pontoon on the Great Barrier Reef

(CNS): MarineLand Tours has made a coastal works application to install moorings to support a multi-level tourist pontoon just yards from the Sandbar in the North Sound. The application indicates that the owners want to create a tourist attraction in the area with water slides, snorkelling trips, an underwater observation gallery and several sun decks. The 150ft pontoon was described as a “luxury product” in the documents submitted to Cabinet, which will decide whether or not to grant the application. 

MarineLand is owned by the Eldemire family, which already offers a number of tourism attractions and services, but in this application they repeatedly refer to the need for more attractions as well as the expansion and adaption of the existing tourism product to compete with other destinations.

The application points to a number of examples of this type of floating pontoon in Australia along the Great Barrier Reef Marine, which attracts day trippers, though some include cafes and even sleeping facilities. The documents state that regulations have been developed by the Australian authorities to minimise the impact on the reef, which Cayman could copy, the application suggests.

The pontoon would be a first for Cayman, however, but the applicants urge government to allow the proposed project as a way of diversifying what is on offer to guests and prevent the sector “from dying” by offering something different to the next generation of visitors.

Envisaged as a permanent site, where other boats could moor and would allow snorkelling trips on the reefs in the area, the plans appear to show the pontoon moored around 4,000 feet to the west of Stingray City.

According to the documents, the public consultation on the application is now closed after the proposal was advertised in April and May in the local print media.

Tags: , ,

Category: Business, development, Local News, Marine Environment, Science & Nature, Tourism

Comments (101)

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  1. Nicollette says:

    So we’re past April so this can’t be a ‘fool’s joke’ but apparently it is. Absolute foolishness and I am not even Caymanian! I couldn’t even believe what I was reading. For crying in a bucket, this is unbelievable that you’d be considering gimmicks and trite like a this to supposedly attracts tourists. I AM a tourist. I pay a lot of money to come to the island. I don’t pay to come to a stupid pontoon – I come to see the N.A.T.U.R.A.L. beauty of Cayman. I come to see the stingrays in their N.A.T.U.R.A.L. habitat. What I am seeing here is a lot of poorly placed attention on anything but that which should attract tourists. Tourists want to see an island and its heritage well taken care of and the authentic and original charm of it being nurtured, retained and celebrated not outright ridiculous idiotic ideas like this even deliberated between seemingly intelligent individuals. Continue down this road of destruction of that beautiful island of yours and you’ll have no tourists dropping because they’ll find another island that hasn’t succumbed to greed and garbage with ‘floaties’ out at sea that have destroyed the sea life and the glorious islands will have suffered worse at the hands of the humans than that of nature and Ivan. It is devastating to watch the demise of this island which I fell in love with over 11 years’ ago and slowly but surely it has lost the character that drew me to it. You stuffed up the airport and leave no stone or stingray unturned. As a tourist and a lover of that island STOP THIS CARNAGE!!!!!!!

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Let them build it and when the first good storm comes by and their “handed down from Gods wisdom” tourist attraction litters the North Sound and the reef then, maybe then, Government will have the balls to say no! Doubt it somehow though. They will probably convince the Government that a large more stable concrete structure is require to keep it from being destroyed.

    Hell at this point let’s just build a damned concrete wall around the sandbar and turn it into a viewing aquarium. Can even put some dolphins in there.

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  3. An Unimpressed Youth says:

    This is such a bad idea in so many ways (Hurricane season/Nor’westers, increased boat traffic, littering and pollution, eye sore etc)… If this dumb idea is approved, it will show just how sad a state of Governance Cayman is in… Our islands are precious and unique gems of natural wonder and it seems like greed has blinded some people to that fact. This Island has a limited visitor capacity the sooner we all realise this the better.

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  4. Ron Ebanks says:

    To the people that thumbed my comment down ,
    I posted on 11-08-18 @ 8:37am . It’s too bad that you all didn’t have the opportunity to have taken one of my trips back in the 1970s , you would have been smarter and more intelegent about the north sound and how stingray city came about .
    Maybe you all could tell me what part of my comment is not true . I would love to hear from all you pontoonbots .

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Stupid Dumb Nonsense
    Absolutely not! This goes through, it will be an all-time low for your Government. Their view on the already cluttered environment will have faded.
    Please DOE, for the love of all things holy, please don’t let this one happen…

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Maybe they should put it closer to Stingray City and allow Marine unit to use it also to maintain law and order. I would put a helicopter landing pad too. A radar station concealed so that the drug runners can’t see it. This idea has potential don’t you think?

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  7. Catcha Fire says:

    Yes 9:01am and others if you think the Eldemire family is the only one eyeing that location for a water project you got another thing coming there are some foreign entities here now with even bigger plans and deeper pockets and far more $$ influence with this government. The Eldemire ‘s idea has a far lower impact on that area and is not on the Sandbar and infact is some distance down from the sandbar. Some posting on here are hypocritically deviously doing so knowing farewell of their own plans which includes a far larger above water and underwater facility. Yes and like most things nowadays it appears to be ok so long as it is not some local suggesting or promoting a project or idea. As for those so called pioneers who constantly walk down memory lane reminding those here now who don’t give a $&@! about Cayman or how it came to be,unless it interferes with their economic plan or pirate agenda Who will not hesitate to galvanize,prostitute fool fool Kmanians for their self serving purpose. Again those walking down memory lane would be best serve teaching their little entitled offspring the values and our Cayman history as it is those same entitled offspring who are for nothing more than their own selfish materialistic desires selling out Cayman and creating this terrible situation.

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    • Anonymous says:

      So your justification for this disgusting vandalism is that it’s Caymanian owned and not as bad or damaging as the foreign ideas? Really? How about leave the area alone entirely? How about no damage at all? What do you want to trash next?

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  8. Anonymous says:

    NO, NO, NO!

    WTF is wrong with these people?

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  9. Anonymous says:

    this would be very tacky and is not something that we need here. Please try and keep Cayman as classy as possible.
    How crumby that pontoon would look. think about it,

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  10. Anonymous says:

    “MarineLand is owned by the Eldemire family, which already offers a number of tourism attractions and services, but in this application they repeatedly refer to the need for more attractions as well as the expansion and adaption of the existing tourism product to compete with other destinations.”

    The Eldemire family owe the people of the Cayman Islands and apology and a pledge to never wantonly deface the country again. This foolishness is truly shocking.

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  11. Ron Ebanks says:

    To the who never had the opportunity to see the sand bar before it became world renowned Stingray City , it was the most beautiful place to be in the water to swim play and do whatever you wanted to .

    Back in the 1960s I worked as mate for every charter boat Captain in the north sound back in those days , and none of those Captains never stopped at the sand bar on their trips . In the mid 1970s I started my own business , and always thought of different things for my passengers to do and see . The first time I stopped at the sand bar and put the people in the water there , and they got back on board and they couldn’t stop praising me for stopping there with them , then I knew I was on to something good .
    There was no fish or Stingray, but just a beautiful place to be in the ocean , just like a big swimming pool in the ocean .

    People like Mr. Boxall , and Mr Arec Joseph , Mr. Arthur Hunter and many more Caymanians that have seen what I am saying . can say the same thing .

    I didn’t know that when I stopped at the sand bar and threw my conch and fish scraps in that it would have attracted the Stingrays, I was doing it for all the tropical fish to come to the area so that the passengers that didn’t snorkel could see the fish without having to snorkel .

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Nobody RETURNS to a holiday destination because of an ‘amazing’ pontoon. They do, however, come back, again and again and again to indulge in timeless activities like interacting with rays and turtles in the wild.

    If you want a pontoon and to play with trained jumping creatures, might I suggest Seaworld. If you want timeless, amazing, natural experiences, keep Cayman natural.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    I say go for it! We are busy trashing the rest of the place anyway…. Stingray City is past bursting point…Rum Point on the weekends is a joke. The new eye(and ear)sore at Starfish Point is hideous and a total contradiction to everything Cayman has ever stood for in it’s tourist product. The new port….. say no more on that. 10 story buildings with over passes and tunnels..The race track of a tourist road. Gangstas robbing everyone….road smashes everyday…
    The Dump..
    Last one to leave….turn of the lights….. Ahh but then let’s not forget CUC they are also making a fine effort to destroy the environment…
    We ariously done for here… but a few have made some money so it is all good!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Rubbish idea in more ways than one

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    • Anonymous says:

      You summed it up perfectly.
      Hope mother nature would sort it out sooner than later. Ivan #2 or more seaweed or jellyfish would really help.

      The country many fell in love with is BEYOND the point of no return.

      Visitors are still excited seeing turquoise waters and DoE staff on TA are busy throwing dust in their eyes, but….not everyone is blind and gullible.

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    • Anonymous says:

      @5:58 Thanks for that. Now anything positive to say?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes… lots… but it doesn’t involve the reality of Cayman unfortunately. If you have more positive updates on the direction of this country please do share!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely agree. Rum Point is choked on Sundays with large noisy party boats, Starfish Point is a no-go area for a quiet chill spot like the old days, also choked with oversized and noisy party boats….and some awful looking slide thingamabob!!

      Why are these large boats permitted to congregate en masse? They should be banned, allow smaller boats access like before.

      The place is being destroyed……very sad.

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  14. Not a good idea says:

    This is an absolutely ridiculous idea. All I see is greed.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Wayne panton woulda been a better minister! church people, vote him back in next time!☺????

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    • Anonymous says:

      This is a legitimate flaw in our democracy. Any candidate attempting to stray from a conservative to more free and liberal mindset can be hindered by groups of churches..

      I long for Cayman to separate church and state. Feel free to read your bibles, go to church, etc, but don’t force it on others who would politely decline.

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  16. Just watcha now says:

    Approve it and watch that ENE 15-20 knots blow it way and destroy a part of the reef or couple mangroves.

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  17. Pure greed... says:

    Absolutely not. To compare our little reef important to the North Sound to Australia’s great Barrier reef is an insult to our intelligence. Common man ! Do not approve this greedy stupid idea. What next ? We already becoming a concrete jungle on 7 mile beach the likes of Miami Beach. Now you want to mess with the North Sound. More money then Brains and pure greed. Oh boy Cayman seem to heading in self destruction. I thought the Eldemires cared about our Beloved Cayman Islands and conservation of our marine life. Our grandchildren won’t think much of us for letting these stupid ideas if that ever happens.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    FOH we dont need more a$$holes out there or any deaths.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    money money money………………….mooonnnneeeyyyy

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Re:

    “…the applicants urge government to allow the proposed project as a way of diversifying what is on offer to guests and prevent the sector “from dying” by offering something different to the next generation of visitors”

    Above is precisely the mindset that is DESTROYING so much of the Cayman Islands today.

    Everything that is NATURAL and CONSTANT about Cayman IS “something different” to our visitors – those of today AND the next generation! (Ffs)

    I have noticed, it is ALMOST ALWAYS the least travelled and exposed that FAIL to see the value of Cayman in her natural state, and are most intent on “improving upon” her natural environment with the latest hair-brained concept.

    The rest tend to simply be insatiable and greedy people.

    – Whodatis

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    • Anonymous says:

      Whodatis, I fundamentally disagree with many of your acidic comments, especially regarding your more nationalistic views. However, on this subject you have hit the nail on the head and should be praised for your eloquent stance.
      Caymans beauty is unique amongst most of the Caribbean islands, however it is being dismantled by greed and personal gain from within.
      Questions need to be asked of our representatives in regard to environmental policy, or lack thereof. They also need to be asked of those in the agencies responsible for our marine protection. The Police are rarely seen in the NS, the Port Authority are never seen inspecting vessels or bouyage, the DOE are totally missing from their marine environment enforcement responsibilities and the Fire Dept only seen on convenient ‘exercises’ when the public kick off about the lack of marine rescue cover on the busiest days of the year.
      Why are these public agencies devoid of any responsibility, where are they?
      Where are the numerous police boats, the mythical UK supplied Fire Dept rescue boat and jet skis or the doe enforcement boats that are meant to be looking after our marine parks and Sandbar? This would appear to be gross incompetence or a deliberate abuse of duty, poor leadership, dysfunctional management or all of the above. Someone needs to look very closely at where our money is being spent and where all these damn boats and crews are and why.
      How can we trust the coastal works application to be appropriately dealt with whilst those responsible for protecting and enforcing our laws ignore their core mission.
      A floating base in the NS will need very close monitoring by all agencies, but we all know that will never happen, it doesn’t happen now because of the lack of a high profile and effective law enforcement policy on the Sandbar. Just take a look at the lack of vessel maintenance, safety equipment, stingray welfare or commercial operators permits at the Sandbar, without even considering incompetent skippers and crews, to convince yourself that no one really cares.
      Those charged with protecting and enforcing our marine laws need to step up and prove they are capable of protecting Cayman, its population and wildlife, until then this ridiculous project should be shelved.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Always happy to find common ground on an issue.

        My comments were general in nature and you are more familiar with the specifics of this area so I will take your word for it.

        Great points.
        Appreciate the meaningful dialogue.

        – Who

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      • Anonymous says:

        What he ^ said +1

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      • Caymana's big daddy says:

        It will only be ridiculous until a certain entity whom we all know buys it and proposes it to the masses here, then it will be Okey dokey folks!

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    • Anonymous says:

      ‘I have noticed, it is ALMOST ALWAYS the least travelled and exposed that FAIL to see the value of Cayman in her natural state’

      Spot on. Mixed with greed.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yep.

        And when those 2 dysfunctions coexist in the same entity – it’s game over.

        Hopeless situation.

        – Who

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    • good grief says:

      They travelled to AUSTRALIA and are trying to copy what they saw there!!!! Just exactly what about that says ‘least travelled’ to you?!?!?

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    • Naya Boy says:

      Yes who and just how do you plan to stop this when our own government is allowing everything else to be taken and changed to suit others, just by sheer numbers now in that sector its being change and overwhelmed. Old Proverb You block change it is going overrun you, if you run away its going to run you down you unfortunately have to ride change to see where it takes you. Look around you folks are living in Dixie land this place is already seriously mess up.Its better we have those who have a vested interest in this place than those who don’t do this. You want to stop this?change the government and stop electing those who look after their own interest and those of their foreign backers Good Luck we tried that! Look at the political garbage we now have running our government.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    I spoke with some of the local stingrays and they said no Fu*$ing way!

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  22. Anonymous says:

    The ocean, stingrays and the sandbar are enough of a tourist attraction. This will be an eyesore! Have to hope planning does not see green as per usual!

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    • Anonymous says:

      We’ve got a fantastic world famous,100% natural tourist attraction, and the Eldemires are jonesing to put a floating piss pot on it. This it equivalent to ruining a shiny new Bentley with a plastic hood ornament. Might as well dredge the whole North Sound and open it to cruise ships while they’re at it.

      First, a dolphinarium now this?These people with more brains than money have to sit down and wonder what they are really doing to this tiny island. I guess they and the CPA board don’t have any conscience nor any sense of environmental responsibility either. What I’d like to know is, what surveys support the notion that tourists want this rubbishy, half baked development? And please don’t even try to compare us the the vast country of Australia.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Go for it! Hope it gets approved too. What’s wrong with you idiots that are against it? Typical Caymanian mentality though. Let’s remain in the 60’s. A bunch of baboons ????. It’s ok to have change you know. After all we do want to compete with the rest of the Caribbean right? Yeah…. Go figure

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    • Anonymous says:

      Little do most of you know or care to know, but visitors to Cayman don’t want it over developed and our sea life is already diminishing. Have a conversation with some of those who have been coming here since the 1960’s and listen to what they have to say.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You should know that Not all change is good. One day hopefully you will realise that you were wrong to suggest supporting such a destructive idea.

      If this is approved then the floodgates will open to more such ridiculous proposals that would then have to be approved.

      Just look at the zoo created on our SMB Public Beach. Think I will invest in a thousand chairs and rent them there as well. Why not, everyone is doing so. Madness!

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Seems like no one in government is able to appreciate the natural environment?

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  25. Anonymous says:

    if they have lodge connections…or ppm connections…one and same…it will get done!???? caymanians…shut up and bear it….

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  26. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure there are a number of questions that need to be answered as far as environmental impact, and how they intend to mitigate storms, pollution, etc.

    However, this is a far more attractive proposal than a 10 story beach condo and wall of future high rises, not to mention that pier thingamagiggy !

    Tourists will enjoy such a thing, the Sunday high-flightie-mighty-champagne-drinkin-cokey-snorty-stingray/rum point boaters-cns-readers probably won’t. Since those high-flighties didn’t appear to have much fuss when they dredged the canals for you to hitch up your boats, this floatie city-thingie, doesn’t appear to be a big issue (mitigating pollution, etc.).

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  27. EFH says:

    there is nothing wrong with the sandbar at moment why need to put this s*** there?

    the stingrays are a very much beautiful location just the way it is.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    F*** No. Quite simple. They shouldn’t have even been able to submit it.

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  29. Anonymous says:

    No

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  30. Anonymous says:

    Wow i just realized i agree with every ones comments that should speak for itself.
    O except stupid 7:14 & 6:52 they think money is everything.

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  31. Anonymous says:

    OOOOhh lets do what there doing mentality. Really! i saw this application and im not 2 impressed the Great Barrier Reef is much wider than ours so if they leave that junk out there in weather like when the six went missing that will go missing too. so let um build it greedy buggers.

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  32. Kim says:

    A couple of points: The Great Barrier Reef is 1,600 miles long. Visitors to our Sandbar come to see the rays in their natural environment, and there is enough plastic floating in the water already!

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  33. Anonymous says:

    There is a large difference between the Great Barrier Reef pontoons location and Sand Bar here : The reef pontoons are positioned between as little as 15 miles and +40 miles offshore, in some regions. They were originally designed as a docking aid and base station , for the large boats that take people out to the reef , thereby removing the need for moorings and anchorage for the larger ( +100 foot long) fast Catamarans that do the ferry run out .From the pontoon base, smaller boats can take scuba divers and snorkelers out to explore the reef and lagoons. I can see a variance of this model working here for Cayman, obviously with the need for a comprehensive environmental study on potential effects. How is waste going to be handled ,as a primary concern. One benefit it may reveal is to take some of the pressure off the Sandbar and minimize some of the madness that goes on there now,in busy periods.

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  34. Anonymous says:

    Cool idea.

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  35. Anonymous says:

    No no no.

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    • Anonymous says:

      There are not enough Nos here for this unnecessary and offensive proposal! Those of you who thumbed up the original post get your friends and family to do the same. We need at least 150!

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  36. #FFS says:

    Well, same theory as our government has… Other countries have a large cruise berthing facility… We have to have one.. Australia has a floating pontoon… We need one, too!

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    • Anonymous says:

      As to the berthing facility comment….You mean like almost every Caribbean port in both the Eastern and Western Caribbean?

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  37. Anonymous says:

    what BS

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  38. say it like it is says:

    As usual, any permission will depend on who is behind the project, regardless of any other considerations.

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  39. Anonymous says:

    Great. Presumably it will be a bigger version of that offensive monstrosity anchored up at starfish point. “Let’s take one of the most naturally beautiful places in the islands and moor up a hideous, vulgar lump of metal & plastic, and let’s play crappy music as loud as possible”.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Went up there with guests last week and was so,so,so sad to see it. Ugly, but fortunately empty too. Plenty looking for starfish though. Starfish 7:0 Pontoon

  40. KY1 2 and 3 says:

    This is really monkey see monkey do because they see the small business man trying to get by in the north sound aka “Jungle float” they trying overun him stop alla da greed. When Bernie wa looking a lil floating dock, snack shack back in the day out in the sound they wa looking run him to the ground for that idea. Just relax and carry that idea west bay road.

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  41. Ron Ebanks says:

    Keep that floatingshit out of the north sound, it would be a destruction to the environment and Tourism and the Islands don’t need it .

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  42. Anonymous says:

    I’m surprised that the Eldemire family would come up with this ridiculous plan..Can you imagine if the septic tanks on that thing were to leak or whatever pumps it out leaks into the water? Why is everyone so intent on destroying what has made us famous with our visitors?

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  43. “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”

    If only the “Christian” people of this country actually lived by His word instead of ripping apart what He has founded upon the seas to assuage their own greed. Stingray City is a unique place of environmental importance. It needs regulation to ensure it is not lost forever. Many other countries have gone through this process and now have to place visitor limits on environmentally sensitive areas. If we do not ensure the tourism product we are offering is sustainable, this will be our reality too.

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  44. Anonymous says:

    Has everybody gone mad? Government leading the march. When Mother Nature gets enough of this madness, she will certainly let us know. And we won’t like it one bit.

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  45. Anonymous says:

    Yeah and let’s put a Monorail around the island that goes across the sound.

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  46. Anonymous says:

    This should never happen. Leave the sand bar alone. There enough madness. No private company should be aloud to claim the public ocean space like that.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s 4000′ west of the sandbar…nowhere near

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      • Anonymous says:

        You mean over Coral Gardens.

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      • Anonymous says:

        whether its the Sandbar, or some other part of the ‘fringing reef’ that people go snorkeling on the principle remains the same: leave it natural and accessible to all. Approve this precedent and in a few years we’ll be arguing about ‘water access’ like we now argue over ‘beach access’.

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  47. Anonymous says:

    Why can’t they just leave the North Sound with its natural beauty. The last thing we want is a floating jungle gym where all of the beer bottles and plastic cups end up falling off of it to end up on the ocean floor.

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  48. Anonymous says:

    if it has environmental impact…then why not?
    i thought the floating bar idea was unique and great back in the day…

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  49. Anonymous says:

    Finally someone with sense and vision. We are full of monkey see monkey do people. We need new attractions. we don’t need someone new to split the business with an already existing business. Surely we have enough boats operating on Stingray city. How about someone offering cottages on the north sound or bars and restaurants in the middle of the sound. Come on young people its your future.

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  50. Anonymous says:

    What next hotels in the north sound. When will this madness end. Ivan No. 2 hurry come.

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    • Debbie does Dullards says:

      No, no and hell no.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Never wish for another Ivan. Two people died and many lost everything.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Stupid comment. You must have been off-island during Ivan.

      Anyone that went through it would never wish for another like it!

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    • Anonymous says:

      The madness will end when every sq ;ft., of land is occupied, when every glimpse of the beautiful Caribbean Sea is blocked from view, when every Caymanian and residents are piling up on each other in car accidents and other subversive issues because of stress, when every green tree is pushed down, every drop of water is polluted, every body is fenced in behind burglar bars and security cameras, when every eligible young and not so young male is behind bars in northward prison, when every young and not so young woman with any potential is ferried away in fair banks, when every rich greedy business person has gone stark raving mad because they have accumulated so much at the detriment of our homeland and its inhabitants and they cannot go outside their homes to enjoy it. Then they will stop because they will be helpless and if they have even one semblance of recognition left,then they will live in the hell they have created. The sad thing though is that those of us who enabled them and stayed quiet will be suffering with them. It’s is time for an intelligent revolution! Are we going to sit back and allow then to completely destroy everything in their paths? Is there anything worth fighting for? Will we be brazen enough to show our grand, and great grand children pictures of how it used to be and brave enough to explain to them whey we sat on the sidelines and did nothing about it. Will we explain to them why our beloved homeland became a two by four rock of nothingness, why it was strip bare of everything except chunks of concrete, parking lots, lost souls, anger, greed, strife, depression, repression, deceit, arrogance, pain and total madness?

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