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#419865 - 10/26/11 02:55 PM Boat captains: slow down by Caribbean Villas
Marty Online   happy

This is an urgent plea to all of our wonderful powerboat captains from the many, many 7- to 14- year-old children who sail the Optimist dinghies off the beach at Caribbean Villas:

Please go slow or give us a very wide berth when passing us by. We know you didnąt know this beforehand, but sometimes you go so fast and come so close that it scares us half to death. To us is it is neither fun nor funny. We know you donąt want to scare kids intentionally. And if you took a close look the little boats we are in, you would see for yourselves that your wakes could indeed capsize us easily. We sail every Saturday and Sunday (weather permitting), and some training lessons are also scheduled after school from 4 to 6 pm on weekdays. Please donąt regard us as pests to be ignored!

We want to grow up to be boat handlers as good and as respectful of others as you are; so please show us the way by granting us this safety, this kindness, and this courtesy.

Thank you from all of us 96 children learning to sail in the free San Pedro Youth Sailing Program.



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#419874 - 10/26/11 03:54 PM Re: Boat captains: slow down by Caribbean Villas [Re: Marty]
ScubaLdy Offline
Who ever wrote this is being very nice. Hopefully the San Pedro Sun will pick up on this and run a story. Maybe - after this storm has passed and we are back to island normal - some one can go on Reef Radio and show some pictures. Now that I have an 8 year old in this group I will start taking pictures and will be sure and capture the names on boats.
THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS - CHILDRENS LIVES ARE AT STAKE.
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Take only pictures leave only bubbles

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#419882 - 10/26/11 04:13 PM Re: Boat captains: slow down by Caribbean Villas [Re: ScubaLdy]
LarkCayeRes Offline
Wow, pictures are worth a thousand words. That looks real bad. Google shows about 1000m between the end of your dock and the start of the reef. How far out are they sailing? Is there no designated "channel" for traffic?

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#419889 - 10/26/11 04:27 PM Re: Boat captains: slow down by Caribbean Villas [Re: Marty]
Amanda Syme Offline
Most of the boat traffic give the sailors a wide berth - there is a lot of room between the reef and the sailing circuit for regular boat traffic to use.

The water taxis now pass well away from the dinghies as do the wonderful guides from Ramon's Village.

There are actually been situations in which boat traffic has squeezed between the dinghies and swamped them. The sailors are thrown off course and could be capsized.

Sailing vessels cannot move and react quickly compared to speed boats. And the sailors we are talking about are children. My boy is out there and he is only seven and weighs a tad over 40 lbs - it doesn't take much to throw him off course!

There are few organized sports for the kids that involve the sea - and on top of all the lessons are being provided free of charge by trained instructors.

I hope that everybody that has any interest in this program help to pass the word around about how important it is to keep these kids safe when they are out there racing.

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#419901 - 10/26/11 05:00 PM Re: Boat captains: slow down by Caribbean Villas [Re: Marty]
collyk Offline
This sailing club is a wonderful thing for the kids of San Pedro. I have a ton of admiration for the people who started this and those who help as volunteers. I truly hope that all of the boat captains here will unite and support this brilliant activity.
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#419915 - 10/26/11 06:27 PM Re: Boat captains: slow down by Caribbean Villas [Re: Marty]
GwenA Offline
As a former blow boater, there are actual International rules of the "road". A sailboat under sail has right of way over a power boat. The power boat has to yield the way. I'm betting the local boat captains don't know this, and believe they have the right of way because they have been there forever.
For a power boat to swamp a sail boat is unconscionable. For a power boat to cut through a flotilla of sailboats is against the law. Then again, we are back to the, "this is Belize" issue,and nobody enforces anything.

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#419924 - 10/26/11 07:04 PM Re: Boat captains: slow down by Caribbean Villas [Re: Marty]
pamkillen Offline
This is one of those situations that probably should start with education for the power boaters. Enforcement may or may not be needed later.

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#419925 - 10/26/11 07:05 PM Re: Boat captains: slow down by Caribbean Villas [Re: Marty]
SFJeff Offline
...while we're on the subject, how about if all you wonderful powerboat captains also slow down when you're running through the river to the back of town. Just because the port authority might not be back there to ticket you, does not give you license to drive like a complete A-hole. It's dangerous to anyone who might be swimming, rude to folks who have their boats docked, and dangerous to boats you pass. The other day I was coming though in a skiff when a 30' boat w/ 2X 200's came speeding through, almost sending me smashing into the mangrove.

And to all the tour guides who do this, you should know better...

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