Monday, October 30, 2006 – Top stakeholders in the OECS yachting sector
are taking a common position to keep crime against yachters and visitors to the
islands of the sub- regional grouping at bay.
Director General of the OECS, Dr. Len Ishmael, disclosed several measures that
will accompany already tightened security measures within marinas.
Dr. Ishmael said the types of crimes committed against yachters in the
sub-region have become more serious and so must the response by stakeholders of
both the tourism and yachting sectors.
“Many years ago, crimes committed against visiting yachts people used to be
confined to the stealing of things; now crime is a little bit more violent and
involves actual personal bodily harm . We did have an incident, which occurred
offshore in Rodney Bay some time ago. When this hits the international press, it
spells bad news for us,” said Dr. Ishmael.
She further stated that, that kind of bad press can cost the island millions of
dollars, from an economically high end activity like yachting. Dr. Ishmael noted
that yachters spend approximately 150 million dollars in the region annually.
“Many yachting persons have threatened that they will no longer sail in the
Caribbean, because it is increasingly unsafe. Secondly, they are very concerned
about their own perception that when these crimes happens, nobody in the islands
cares,” she said.
A general meeting will be convened in the second half of December with all the
players in the sector, where a host of security and other recommendations will
be discussed with the objective of implementation in the near future.