The Virgin Islands Shipping Registry has suggested that illegal anchoring is becoming more prevalent in at least one section of the British Virgin Islands.
Acting Director for the Shipping Registry, Captain Raman Bala said boaters have developed the habit of anchoring in narrow channels and fairways leading into a port or marina, which, he said, is against the territory’s Merchant Shipping laws.
He said several boaters have been anchoring in these narrow channels since the September 2017 hurricanes.
“The Virgin Islands Shipping Registry recognises that the buoys to the Manuel Reef channel have been removed by hurricanes but this does not permit obstructing the channel and its approaches. We have noticed that in the approaches to Manuel Reef Marina, numerous vessels are anchored in the fairway. This constricts the channel and makes it unsafe for navigation.”
Captain Bala said under the Merchant Shipping laws anchoring in these areas can lead to ‘serious penalties when enforced by the marine police’.
He further said practising proper anchoring promotes the safety of navigation, saving of lives, preventing collisions and speeds up entry and egress from ports.
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