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Re: swimming safety [Re: PJBELIZE] #416502
09/18/11 11:15 AM
09/18/11 11:15 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 41
BC Canada
blueyz44 Offline
blueyz44  Offline
If you look at alot of the resorts websites, alot of them say "snorkel right from our pier". A little misleading and dangerous if the tourists are not aware that it's a busy boat traffic lane and they really are at risk. Might not want to call the tourists stupid or reckless when they may have just been following what was advertised.

Re: swimming safety [Re: PJBELIZE] #416503
09/18/11 11:20 AM
09/18/11 11:20 AM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Asheville, NC USA
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
Yeah, bywarren, maybe the BTB can run ads in the U.S., Canada and Europe that say "No Swimming Off Beaches in Belize" and "Our Belize Beaches Are NOT for Swimming or Snorkeling" and "Be Advised That There No Good Swimming Beaches in Belize" and "Tourists Should Stay Where They Belong -- in Swimming Pools."

That should really bring in the visitors and revitalize Belize's # 1 industry.

--Lan Sluder

Re: swimming safety [Re: Lan Sluder/Belize First] #416505
09/18/11 11:29 AM
09/18/11 11:29 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,713
Illinois, Arkansas,South Dakot...
bywarren Offline
bywarren  Offline
No, Lan: that would be too close to truth in advertising. grin

Re: swimming safety [Re: bywarren] #416506
09/18/11 11:37 AM
09/18/11 11:37 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 188
t42 Offline
t42  Offline
I think boats should be required to have spotters on them to help avoid this tragic mishap and marine life like manatees.

Re: swimming safety [Re: bywarren] #416508
09/18/11 11:40 AM
09/18/11 11:40 AM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,160
San Pedro
Phil Offline
Phil  Offline
Originally Posted by bywarren
Swimming areas = swimming pools and snorkel trips to the reef. I wish Belize would stop trying to make it into everything for everybody. The marine system is not conducive to nice beaches and clean sand bottom swimming areas. Keep the turtle grass and marine vegetation intact. Leave the ecosystem to produce and sustain what nature intended it to. Use it for what it is and the beauty it provides. Donít try to change it.

^Agree with Bywarren - we are what we are, so play to our strengths.

To avoid this tradgedy happening again move the boat lanes to halfway between the reef and shore when on the plane, off plane when coming into destination dock perpendicular to shore. Advise Tourists thay can swim out as far as double the distance of the nearest dock. They get swimmable snorkel depth water in safety. Boats are far away have minimal if any added cost apart from a few minutes extra journey as they come inshore off plane. Margin of error for both groups won't bring them into contact. No bouys maintenance etc and as we have CoastGuard here now easily enfoced on a daily basis even from shore.

Trickier North of Belizean Shores due to patch reef and shore reef convergence but these things seem to happen more in town where there is the concentration of boats. Also perhaps the case Water Taxi/Ferry (I mean Coastal Xpress not Bz City Water Taxis) with multiple Dock stops but surely this can still be acomplished to preserve our reputation.

Re: swimming safety [Re: Lan Sluder/Belize First] #416512
09/18/11 12:03 PM
09/18/11 12:03 PM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 61
In New Jersey along the shore the locals call the day trippers to the beach ( shobbies ) because they would come down for the day with their lunches in a shoe box . Come labor day locals sick of the tourists would put up signs like ( GO HOME SHOBBIES ).Having a business there for 30 years I would say something to the folks putting up the signs , and you can imagine the intellect remarks I would hear . Some folks just don't understand ,you can't bite the hand that feeds you ! bywarren is right ,there are no good swimming beaches on this island . Don't you all think we should have at least one on the island .I'm not talking about removing the sea grass from the whole island but one block (200 yards) here and a few miles down ,maybe another . It is a negative for the tourist trade that there are NO good beaches to swim off of .Oh and if you do swim off a beach you could get run over by a boat or two . There's a lot of competition for the tourist dollar , let's help create positive comments for the island .

Re: swimming safety [Re: PJBELIZE] #416516
09/18/11 12:18 PM
09/18/11 12:18 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,822
South Ambergris Caye
JZB Offline
JZB  Offline
Banyan Bay and Ramons Village both have swimming beaches but the fact is visitors want to walk out of their room, down to the water and jump in. Thats the perk of renting a beachfront hotel room, you don't have to go in search of a place to swim.

What is needed is education. For our visitors and for our boat captains. We need to tell our visitors how dangerous it can be out in the open water and we need to tell our boat captains that there will be people swimming out there and they need to keep an eye out and travel a farther distance from shore. (many boats seem to travel on auto pilot) It is unproductive to point fingers in an accident such as this, we need to learn from the mistakes made and do what we can to ensure it doesn't happen again. Dive flags, buoys, signage, visitor briefings at check in or a combination.
I personally dislike the idea of telling visitors you CANT do this or you CANT do that, this isn't the US and we don't have those kinds of enforcable laws/rules. Educate them, make sure they understand the consequences of their actions and they will make the right decision.

Re: swimming safety [Re: JZB] #416517
09/18/11 12:25 PM
09/18/11 12:25 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,520
PACWest, SACSouth
Bear Offline
Bear  Offline
Originally Posted by JZB
What is needed is education...It is unproductive to point fingers in an accident such as this, we need to learn from the mistakes made and do what we can to ensure it doesn't happen again...make sure they understand the consequences of their actions and they will (author edit) "hopefully" make the right decision.

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Bear; 09/18/11 12:26 PM.
Re: swimming safety [Re: Bear] #416519
09/18/11 12:30 PM
09/18/11 12:30 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 6,196
San Pedro AC Belize
Diane Campbell Offline
Diane Campbell  Offline
Originally Posted by Bear
Originally Posted by JZB
What is needed is education...It is unproductive to point fingers in an accident such as this, we need to learn from the mistakes made and do what we can to ensure it doesn't happen again...make sure they understand the consequences of their actions and they will (author edit) "hopefully" make the right decision.

[Linked Image]


Re: swimming safety [Re: Diane Campbell] #416533
09/18/11 04:02 PM
09/18/11 04:02 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 337
San Pedro AC
Capt. Hollywood Offline
Capt. Hollywood  Offline
I have lived in Belize City for 5 years and moved to the Island about 7 months ago. I have been on weekend trips to the island in the past several times.

Despite my name I do not hold a Captains licence. I was unaware of any boating lanes or where they begin or end etc. As an average person I can see the confusion. The whole beach area is dotted with dive and snorkel shops and San Pedro is touted as a divers paradise, so walking along the beach you get the impression that snokeling is everywhere.

Nowhere are there any indications of danger swimming past the docks.

I have worked at Club Med and Decameron Resorts for several years and we always had an orientation session for new guests. This is usually a half hour session where guests could ask questions and we would go over safety rules, facilities and is where you could sell a tour or two.

The Majority of our guests attended these sessions because they want information.

Obviously, you would think common sense would prevail, but I have found working at large all inclusive resorts that most people are in a different "frame of mind" when vacationing. They are a lot more carefree and sometimes like a babe in the woods.

We as business owners and residents need to remind visitors of the beauty as well as the dangers of the Island. Don't go swimming in the lagoons, there are Crocs. Don't go past the piers, boat traffic etc.

Signs on the docks would help, as long as they are informative.

No swimming past dock, will mostly be ignored,
"No swimming past dock, serious injury or death from boat traffic & propellers may occur"is far more effective and is not detrimental or will scare off tourists

Talking to people and explaining one on one is, in my lengthly experience is definately the best. Most people know that there are risks , and understand why there are rules and that they are for THIER safety.

A few years back some US students came to one of our resorts in Santa Marta Colombia. Despite several strong warnings from the Hotel and locals the students took a trip into the bush and were kidnapped by Guerilla forces. (You may remember this story back in the nineties.)

NO, not everyone will listen, but forewarned is forearmed and those that choose to break the rules do so at thier own risk,

I think that every hotel registered with the BTB should be reqiured to inform guests of the danger of swimming in the lagoons or past the docks and why, and where the boat lanes are.

It is not a perfect solution, but we have done our due dilligence and it's a step in the right direction.

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