BVI News

CGB beach closed until further notice | High level of bacteria found in water

The popular visitor and tourist attraction, Cane Garden Bay Beach, is now closed to the public until further notice.

A bulletin published on government’s official website late Friday said this is as a result of high volumes of bacteria found in the water.

The release further said the findings were unearthed following a series of routine testing done at commonly-used beaches in the territory recently.

“The results of the water sample showed high levels of bad bacteria counts for Cane Garden Bay beach, and we want to ensure the health safety of swimmers,” Health and Social Development Minister Carvin Malone said.

The testing was conducted by the Environmental Unit of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration in collaboration with Environmental Health Division of the Ministry of Health and Social Development following the passage of Tropical Storm Karen.

In the meantime, Minister for Natural Resources, Vincent Wheatley said the results from the latest routine check allowed local authorities to make the ‘swift decision’ to order the beach temporarily closed.

“Persons are asked not to bathe in the water at Cane Garden Bay while the beach is closed. The teams will continue to assess the area and will advise when the beach is safe and open for recreational use,” government has warned.

Despite the bulletin, a handful of residents were spotted on Sunday utilizing the now-closed beach. But the Natural Resources Minister has described the move as risky.

The type of bacteria or the likely implications it could pose for beach-goers is not known to BVI News.

This is not the first time the beach has been closed because of high bacteria levels.


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  1. Tru Dat! says:

    Would be great if we got some information about the type(s) of bacteria and possible sources.

    Like 24
    Dislike 3
    • True says:

      No to mention levels reported, criteria against which the results may be compared, and associated risks with those criteria.
      From a 30,000 ft perspective, this does illustrate an issue that has long been avoided, which is what should BVI policy be regarding septic tanks, sewage management, etc.? We all excrete, there are more people than before, but nothing has changed in terms of how we manage our excreta. In medieval times, it was all thrown out the window. We stopped because it was linked to disease. Here, we are ignoring the message.

      Like 16
  2. CLOSED? says:

    I went there on Sunday, and there was no sign that this beach was closed.. And i am pretty sure that those residents who were seen utilizing the beach as well, had no clue….

    Like 20
    • Smh says:

      As the people them leave the pull up the sign! Best of luck swimming in direct s**t water!!! When you begin to break out don’t blame the government but blame your stupidity

      Like 18
      Dislike 4
      • @ SMH says:

        My sentiments exactly! The height of ignorance of our community/own people. I’m waiting patiently for them to blame the Minister.

  3. Give me a break says:

    Listen the pond has been running into the sea since christ was a young child…people have swim in it and nothing has happened to them…why all of a sudden they making a big deal out of this…who they want to give a contract to now. They only know it have bacteria in the water after heavy rainfall. That’s the only time them does come with this nonsense right before the season starts up…give me a break

    Like 7
    Dislike 32
    • Coli says:

      Ummm, since Christ was a child, the population of CGB has grown at an unholy rate.
      Over the last two decades that the resident population has increased big time, and the day-visitor population has sky-rocketed.
      All these people make a lot of human waste.
      With no functioning sewage works there it is no wonder dangerous bacteria like e-coli have appeared in the water.
      The place needs tertiary level sewage treatment so that what comes out of the system into the sea is CLEAN. That way, we can call it a viable tourist destination. Until then, it is just a liability.

      Like 36
    • @give me a break says:

      Every beach on Tortola has a pond… all of them and are a natural filter for the beaches. Ponds are the problem but sewerage is. We cannot and must not allow raw sewerage into our most precious and valuable resource

      Like 24
    • Listen says:

      Totally agree.

    • just amazedj says:

      You are an absolute fool

      Like 2
      Dislike 4
  4. Not surprised.. says:

    Them boats docking right there dumping poope .. That’s why..

    Like 7
    Dislike 16
    • Sees says:

      very few if any boats for 6 weeks now . Face the real facts !! ..salt ponds filled in by locals and an antiquated sewage plant soon to be replaced by the same kind . SMH .

      Like 20
  5. Ausar says:

    Because, “give me a break”, “natives” are not the only persons that are in usage of this beach!

    Scores of visitors also use this bay and if there is an epidemic, it would definitely be a situation of “Cocobay on top of Yars”!

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  6. In Charge says:

    The minister in charge will be paid to clean it up.

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
  7. Yes! says:

    They lucky this has not happen during the season! The environment needs protecting!

  8. Tourist for a week says:

    I guess we will head up to Virgin Gorda and hang out at the Baths for the week.

    Like 12
  9. BEACH BARS says:

    Has no one seem the open septic running in the road near the beach from one particular beach bar.

    Like 16
    Dislike 1
  10. vip heckler says:

    Is this a ploy to speed up the process for the minister’s company to get the job ????

    Like 10
    Dislike 5
  11. inquiring minds says:

    Wasn’t a ship in last week? and they swam in the said waters?

  12. CGB Resident. says:

    So next ship is due Oct 8 & 10. What will they tell these people?

  13. Krazy says:

    The beach has been polluted for years now with all the yachts anchoring in the harbour and depositing you know what and you trying to blame it on tropical storm Karen that belly produced enough rain much less flooding.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  14. Bvishame says:

    Pockwood burning refuse and Cane Garden Bay Ecoli…Please tell me again how BVI is an environment model for the tourists to enjoy

  15. schemers says:

    CGB is a sh*th*le
    BVI should be ashamed for charging a $10 environmental fee. One of the most un-environmental places on earth.
    I bet they burn thru your $10 faster than the hazardous waste on the side of the mtn.

  16. Florida says:

    That should be taken seriously. I remember early in the summer, a elderly lady died and a young girl almost lost her legs due to a flesh eating bacteria they picked up after swiming on a beach. I am due to vacation in the BVI next week and I will not be swiming at any of the beaches.

  17. Dman says:

    I don’t know how it works in the B.V.I. but on the resort island where I live an environmental fee is charged (through the hotels) and put in a separately administered account for ONLY environmental related issues that benefit EVERYONE. Works great and accounting is easy.

  18. Anon says:

    Next message we get, dont breath until fires are out or wear this mask or wear this suit before swimming. Environmental levy? Wonder where that money goes? Friendly asphalt maybe. Stop the purposely ignited trash fires.
    Fine the sewage perps. Fine the truck and boat yards who are changing/dumping oil/refuse and letting wrecks leak toxins into the waters.
    Natures little secret is now Natures big dilemma.
    St.Thomas we are following your example of how to f#@k it all up. A bigger junk yard than Irmaria created. No lol on this. Crying out loud is more like it.

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