BVI News

Jet skis won’t be allowed on every beach when they are legalised – Premier

Premier Andrew Fahie has said his government intends to put control mechanisms in place to ensure jet skis are disallowed from being operated on all beaches in the British Virgin Islands.

Fahie made the remarks during his contribution to the recently concluded budget debate in the House of Assembly.

“I am working with my government to open up this territory to allow the young people to get their trade licenses. Let them go do jet skis in controlled environments,” he said.

“We will put the legislation in place, we will make sure that it is not in every beach, and we will designate certain areas for it,” Fahie added.

The Premier said the undertaking will significantly assist in providing new revenue streams for the territory and its people.

“I know that we have to get money in this territory and we have spoken to a lot of investors. We have spoken with a lot of our people who have ideas who just need certain things open up in terms of legislation.”

He continued: “We cannot let everything in this country be shut down. How are you going to get the economy run? Every time you name something they tell me why it cannot happen. I told my government unless it is an outright sin, don’t tell me it cannot happen.”

Last year, Opposition Leader and then Junior Minister for Trade Marlon Penn said the NDP government was in the process of developing a policy to allow jet skis to be distributed and operated locally.

As for the larger motorcycles, following Fahie’s initial announcement in early April, Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews said the territory should improve its road network and develop a comprehensive safety programme before larger bikes are introduced.

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64 Comments

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  1. Ex-BVItourist says:

    Sorry BVI. Absolutely the last straw. Cruise ship tourism has already trashed numerous locations in the BVI. My family and I will no longer be vacationing in the BVI now that jet skis are legal. Jet skis being banned was one of the positive attractions of the BVI in the past. It’s sad that the BVI feels this step is necessary. Many of my friends feel the same way, I’m sure you will lose more tourists than you gain by changing this law.

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    • SMH says:

      Your Choice…we cannot please everyone!

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      • BuzzBvi says:

        But what a good idea it would be if you tried to please the people that benefit the BVI the most.

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        • Hmmm says:

          Right now the BVI needs revenue streams, the same people who talk about how they vacationed never lifted a finger to help while we were suffering. Now we made decisions to help ourselves we turn you off. You are right, we will lose a lot of tourist but now we will gain the ones who enjoy such. Thankful to the past tourist who will continue to visit and support us regardless.

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    • bye says:

      felicia

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    • @Ex-bVItourist says:

      thanks for coming bye bye!!

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    • CW says:

      STRUPES want to stop progress SMH.

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    • Albion says:

      After all, similar restrictions worked so well with motorbikes….

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    • Wow says:

      How selfish does that sound? Though we appreciate your past visits but can you hear yourself? ” Cruise ship tourism has already trashed numerous locations in the BVI”, what is the difference between you an overnighter tourist and a crew ship tourist? STOP IT we value and appreciate all our visitors over nighter or 1 day visitor we welcome all so stop putting Blame on cruise ship tourist , over the years I have heard over nighter tourist complain oh these cruise ship people again? Hey they are called Tourist just like you we Love and appreciate them just like we love and appreciate you, let us know where is your next vacation destination I bet you they have cruise ships also.

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      • BuzzBvi says:

        The fact “Wow” that you cannot see the difference in value to the BVI between a cruise ship passenger and someone who has a long term vacation, and the dollars they spend to do that, is the problem the BVI has. It is chasing pennies and putting at risk hundreds of millions of dollars. Time to change those pictures of Natures Little Secrets and replace them the the rows of chairs that now populate our beaches 24 hours a day. Look at Cane Garden Bay, not really a beach any more (chair storage) and White Bay in Jost Van Dyke. Just chairs! Beach destroyed for the chance of a 5$ payment. People will not be coming back. And the considered response is Bye Bye. ??????

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        • Hotelier says:

          And now they have put hideous wooden cabins along Long Bay Beef Island. Already ruined by the fast food eyesores and the cheap tents.

          Clueless.

      • Busy Bee says:

        The cruise sheep have very much trashed the island.
        Undervalued? No, cruise ship tourism is a pig in a poke. No value whatsoever!
        For islanders, cruise ships are environmentally damaging and economically unsound and inflationary.

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    • Ex Tourist says:

      I suggest a facebook campaign to highlight the ignorance of the new government..let our young people f* up the BVI…great job

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    • why dont you says:

      ask the people of the BVI as opposed to getting your pockets filled with money of jetski business owners..

    • shu flu says:

      many of my friends and family will differ. im sure we will gain.

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    • BVI says:

      I travelled the world and ended up living in the BVI for some years. Why? Despite all the negativity of the residents and government mismanagement, you do a lot of things right, such as no franchises and also no jet skis. Please understand that these policies are making the BVI special and is attracting a kind of sofisticated tourists, able to spend money. If you change these policies, they will not return and you will get a complete different type of tourist, bringing in nothing and spoil this beautifull and special place on earth.

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    • Time will Tell says:

      While I understand your frustration, and appreciate that you have the right to voice your opinion, what other country/destination that is frequented by tourists that don’t have jet-skis? I am quite certain that what ever country you are from they are allowed on lakes and beaches (if there are any). Why should the Virgin Islands by second best to any other tourist destination? Why didn’t wait to see and understand what areas they would be allowed to operate in? I am quite certain that you don’t frequent all the areas that will be designated as areas where jet-skis will be allowed. WE must do as you say or you’ll punish us by with holding your tourist dollars..SAD!!!!

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      • Dress like you mean it says:

        We are not second best if we don’t have jet-skis- we are BETTER. That’s the whole point of being special and worth coming to.
        You know as well as I do that nobody will restrict the areas jetskis go to just like nobody stops the youths riding around with no helmets.
        Sometimes I despair at the ignorance of people here.

  2. Me again says:

    Legislation sounds Nice but with out enforcement 😳
    Same with the littering and illegal dumping of Bulk waste around green bins .
    Yes investment but Regulated; How I don’t know , because there are no fences in the sea and when people rent and drive/sail out to sea WHO is going to tell me they are not going where they want on a smooth day
    ( just my thoughts)

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  3. Devon says:

    The BVI seems to be constantly trying to kill the goose that lays the golden egg !

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  4. Hot one says:

    Please no jet skis – noisy irritating and antisocial behaviour!

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Not everyone is a sailor… jet skis rule….

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  6. Keeping it real says:

    Jet Skis will become annoying and dangerous like the scooters. BVI is becoming a ghetto like the USVI.

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    • CW says:

      Oh you mean the USVI that has one of the most popular tourism products in the Caribbean? SMH STRUPES LET THIS GOVERNMENT TRY BEFORE YOU HATE ON THEM. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE BESIDES WHINE?

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    • USVI says:

      Don’t be calling my Country, the place you have to depend on no damn ghetto.Where is more ghetto than the BVI looking like a third world Country and smelling like a sewer factory. A lot of the negative things people like You is saying about the USVI/USA on the blogs is going to be your Country DOWNFALL. Don’t be biting the hand that is giving you a helping hand.

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      • Ganga says:

        We are better off without the hoards of American cruise sheeple coming here. They only benefit one family. They don’t help this country- they just trash it and treat us like slaves.
        Keep these islands clean and beautiful and there will be plenty of work for all of us from the people coming here spending big bucks and having little impact.

      • Poor grammar says:

        Semi-literate comment. Please use English

  7. Bvi born says:

    This is great news I can’t wait to buy one

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  8. Giraffe says:

    Set this legislation aside and get the public inputo please.

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  9. The General says:

    Will they be allowed to operate in CGB where they already operate openly?

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  10. true says:

    THIS IS A JOKE AND YES IM SHOUTING. The guys from Leverick come all the way to Anegada when they are not supposed to, so why does he think restricting them to certain areas will make a difference, this will curtail and kill the yachts.

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  11. Reply says:

    While I believe that allowing jet skis on certain beaches can offer some entrapanuer an opportunity to have a business and perhaps add to the experience of some tourist, unfortunately I see a downside.

    I have no doubt that their legalization would result in abusive use resulting in frequent injuries and even death in a similar manner that is being seen by those who ride motorbikes on land.

    Their selective use on certain beaches is one thing. Their responsible use will be another.

    Who will police the use of these jetskis to ensure they are used responsibly and safely? Are there going to be jet skiers speeding around swimmers risking injury?

    Also, what plans will be put in place to ensure beach goers and larger boaters co-exists safely?

    IMO, while I am not necessary against, I believe the government should proceed with caution and ascess if the benefit of such legalization will outway the overall risk.

    Would I like to see jet skis on the waters of Beef Island, Josiahs Bay or even Cane Garden Bay while I enjoy a day of swimming? Probably not.

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    • CW says:

      There is a downside to EVERY tourism activity. Being responsible about it and planning for the growth is essential and RESPONSIBLE. Might as well make money on what PEOPLE WILL DO ANYWAY!

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      • Operative word says:

        Responsible is the operative word. Alas, responsibility and its cousin accountability are rare in this Territory. Jet skis will no doubt be permitted because somebody’s cousin is in the right place. Rules will be set in place, but like most rules hereabouts, everyone will ignore them and nobody will enforce them.

  12. vip heckler says:

    Is fahie trying to get marlon over on his side?

    • Wonder says:

      He thinks that everything Government suggests should be opposed, so it is good if he is working with Marlon because he refused to work with Government on anything.

  13. Retired says:

    In my opinion the introduction of jet skis to the BVI will reduce business opportunities in the BVI. However if the VIP government really wants to legalize these annoying watercraft then I suggest the following:

    1. All jet skis must be registered with the VI Ship Registry for a minimum $5000 annual fee AND have a full time paid & licensed captain over the age of 35.
    2. No ‘bare ski’ renting or leasing.
    3. No jet ski operation within 2 miles of dry land and reefs less than 4 fathoms in depth.
    4. The cruise ship dock in the Tortola Pier Park in the BVI is the only dock that permits jet ski launching/hauling out and landing for the boarding and discharge of guest passengers.

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    • Mr Shovels says:

      This comment is downright hilarious. licensed jet ski captain?? lmao

    • Lodger says:

      I think you have tongue in cheek, making it impossible to use them!
      A jet ski holds one or two people and does not tow water skiers. I think you have misunderstood.
      There are two aspects to this. The purchase and operation by locals, probably young men with a death wish. The renting of them to tourists who may or may not have the same attitude.
      How do you get the jet ski 2 miles off shore to start using it?

    • Stay Retired says:

      Your suggestions are not realistic and makes no sense. I’m also not in high favour of the water crafts but I’m willing to not be an a** to the subject and open to sensible regulations.

  14. dman says:

    What’s next, paintball guns on the beach, pie fights,firearm shooting ranges, drone wars ? Give me a break.

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    • Lodger says:

      Why not? The rest is going to h**l in a basket! Might as well go the whole way. Disney World should be popular.

  15. Bunk says:

    I like your suggestions, but could you please elaborate on what a drone war is?

  16. Hopefull says:

    PLEASE, PLEASE NO JET SKI’S. OUR FORFATHERS HAD THE INTELLEGENSE TO BAN THEM, THINK WHY DID THEY DO THIS….. WHY DID THEY BAN THE BIG BIKES….
    THE SMALL INCREASE IN BUSINESS ALLOWING THESE INTO THE BVI WILL NOT OFFSET THE NEGATIVE THEY WILL CREATE. WE ARE THE ENVY OF OTHER CARIBBEAN ISLANDS AS WE HAVE THESE LAWS, ONCE WE GIVE THEM UP WE CAN NEVER GET THEM BACK
    HOW DOES OUR CHIEF EVEN HAVE TIME TO THINK ABOUT JET SKI’S WHEN THERE IS SO MUCH ELSE THAT IS SO IMPORTANT… VIP PLEASE TAKE US FORWARD AND UPWARD WITH SOUND THINKING, ALLOWING MORE POLLUTION IS NOT THE ANSWER..
    I HOPE THE VIP IS GOING TO ALLOW PUBLIC FEEDBACK ON THIS MATTER, SUCH A SMALL PERCENTAGE WILL BENEFIT AND SUCH A LARGE PERCENTAGE WILL SEE THE NEGATIVE

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  17. TurtleDove says:

    Start slow, owners must live on the island where it is being operated. Develop safety guidelines and have police patrol. If controlled it could be a source of revenue, a fun thing to do and help to diversify the economy.

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  18. swimmer says:

    I used to love to swim in Cane Garden bay , the swim bouy markers made it really safe. Now you have to be very careful even a few feet off shore to make due dinghy’s etc aren’t around but its the jet skis that really scare me. Having a lot of people in the water AND jet skies is dangerous. I’d love to see the swim area marked off again.

    • Cane Garden watcher says:

      Hello, the swim buoy markers at CGB clearly show the safe swimming area that powered craft and sail boats are excluded from. With jet skis, the same arguments apply to RIBs and power boats. They can be used safely but must be kept away from the swimming areas. In St Thomas. there is a 2mph speed limit which applies when jet skis are close to the land and are coming in or out of the dock. The same should be applied in the BVI. It’s also desirable to impose restrictions on which beaches jet skis can operate from. Perhaps only one or two designated areas so that visitors who wish to swim can avoid the permitted areas.

  19. Brandywine beach says:

    Is the only beach jet skis can operate from. You cant swim there and it may attract the tours (finally!)

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  20. Concern says:

    Please, we want peace and quiet on our beaches. We do not want noise pollution and air pollution. Citizens and tourists alike need a refuge from daily stressors. We do not need our government to add to our stress levels.
    Some tourists like to hike. Maybe some hiking trails would be a good idea. Forget about all the crass stuff like jet skis.

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  21. windy says:

    NOOOOOOOOO !!!

  22. Please Lord says:

    No Jetskis in the name of the Lord our Saviour AMEN! He who goes against God’s Will goes against The Holy Spirit AMEN! Do not DESTROY GODS CREATION with your Greed Mr. FAHIE!

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  23. Hopefull says:

    LETS DO A POLL??
    THUMBS UP IF YOU WANT JET SKI’S
    THUMBS DOWN IF YOU DON’T WANT JET SKI’S

    SOMEONE IN VIP GOVERNMENT, PLEASE TAKE THIS TO THE CHEIF WHEN THE POPULATION CLEARLY SAY THEY DONOT WANT JET SKIS….
    THANK YOU.

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  24. Rodent says:

    Jet ski’s and sailboats don’t mix.
    After a day of sailing you might as well forget about a quiet anchorage.
    You can bet charterers floating off the stern of their boats are going to be endangered by these speeding missiles.

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  25. Bunk says:

    The ignorance and negativity in these comments is astounding! smh

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  26. No says:

    Jet skis are not needed. It attracts the trailer park cruise ship crowd. BVI can’t even enforce garbage from being dumped on the road, how they going to enforce this? I can spend my 6 weeks elsewhere, for less money. BVI has been treating long time land based visitors like s**t for years. I’ve had enough. And many,many others agree.

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  27. hmm says:

    You are essentially putting the terrorising scooters of the roads.. onto the waters.
    Shame 🙁
    Thank you for the years of relaxation.

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  28. Smh says:

    Im lost here whats the big deal with jet skis? Is it the end of the world? Or is cause one person say it bad so everyone follows just like how c***l r****y banned big bikes for no reason(his d******r)

  29. Anonymous says:

    I think the PM is exactly right. Give people the right to choice and don’t impede the economy. Unless it is a mortal sin we should be free to choice. I grew up poor and worked hard. Now have a boat with a jet ski aboard. I came to the islands hoping to explore on my ski and was disappointed by the restrictions. A guest like me will spend a $1,000 a day, be responsible and come back each season. Safety laws are better than probations.

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