Government is spending $28,035 to put measures in place to stop the common practice of powerboaters operating their vessels in swimming zones at Cane Garden Bay beach on Tortola.
Natural Resources Minister Vincent Wheatley said in a statement on Monday that a contract was signed between government and Commercial Dive Services Limited to supply and install ‘Swim Area’ and ‘No Anchoring’ markers at the popular attraction.
“The situation in Cane Garden Bay, Tortola that involves powerboaters infringing on the swimming area and anchoring their vessels on the shoreline has been a problem to the beachgoers and the community. This occurrence is dangerous and is also a potentially fatal accident waiting to occur,” Wheatley said.
“The Government of the Virgin Islands has been working diligently to remedy this issue and I am proud to say that this problem will be no more by the beginning of August.”
In the meantime, the minister said members of the public must play their part in helping the issue remain under control.
“Beyond simply remedying a problem, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage persons to assist in the preservation of this investment. This is not the first time that a ‘Swimming Area’ and ‘No Anchoring’ markers are being purchased and placed in Cane Garden Bay.”
He said he has been made aware that, in the past, these markers were vandalized and eventually removed from the beach “because some persons feel that boaters having full access to the beach is more important than the safety of the beachgoers that may be present in the swimming area at any given time”.
He, however, said the soon-to-be-installed markers will be reinforced and more difficult to remove without the use of proper machinery.
“In the interest of the territory, I am asking persons to report anyone who they may find tampering with any of the equipment that is placed in, not only the beaches, but in any public area for the safety of everyone so that those persons can be dealt with by the local authorities,” the minister further said.
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