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Meeting held to discuss boating safety measures

Posted By: Marty

Meeting held to discuss boating safety measures - 10/22/11 02:08 PM

... off the shore of San Pedro and Caye Caulker

Pursuant to the accident which occurred on the waters off San Pedro Town on September 14th in which one tourist lost a leg and a second was injured, a meeting on boat safety was held on Friday, October 14th.

Director for Destination Planning at the Belize Tourism Board, Kevin Gonzalez, spoke to The San Pedro Sun about the meeting. According to Mr. Gonzalez, “It was a boat safety meeting and had some bearing on the recent incident that occurred where a visitor’s leg was severed. However it wasn’t completely focused on that, it was looking at all boat safety issues in San Pedro and the country of Belize for that matter.”

At the meeting were key tourism stakeholders from San Pedro and Caye Caulker, as well as members of the BTIA, North Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch, South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch, the San Pedro Town Council and the Belize Port Authority.

During the meeting, immediate as well as long term measures that will assure the security of visitors and residents that use the waters were discussed. Among the short term measures discussed were:

* Placing of safety notices on piers
* Placing cautionary notices at hotels in their lobbies, reception area or even rooms

According to Mr. Gonzalez these will be effective methods of getting information to visitors as it pertains to their safety as they enjoy the beauty of Belize. “We looked at what key steps could be taken in the short term to advertise and let the public know. And this is for locals and foreigners as well. One of the main focuses was swimming outside the piers and docks. Shortly we will be placing signs on the docks informing all that it is unsafe to swim out there and they should practice much caution if they insist in doing so”.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun!

Posted By: Bear

Re: Meeting held to discuss boating safety measures - 10/22/11 02:20 PM

Quote
As for Port Authority, they have a long term initiative which will assist with daytime as well as night time travel. Mr. Gonzalez stated that the Port Authority will be creating what they call a “lighted travel expressway.” This will consist of buoys for water traffic, which are visible during the day and light-up at night, spanning from Belize City all the way to San Pedro. It will create a lane that boaters would have to travel. This project is estimated to cost an approximate $200,000. and is expected to occur within the next year-and-a- half as funds need to be allocated.


Did anyone attend the meeting?
Posted By: CarlosCabanas

Re: Meeting held to discuss boating safety measures - 10/22/11 03:15 PM

Did anyone actually hear about this meeting before it happened?
Posted By: PJBELIZE

Re: Meeting held to discuss boating safety measures - 10/22/11 03:58 PM

No I didn't hear about this meeting. Sure would have been there to make a comment or two about how to separate the boats from the people.Hope they call another one with some notice in advance!
Posted By: JZB

Re: Meeting held to discuss boating safety measures - 10/22/11 04:53 PM

I don't believe this was a public meeting.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Meeting held to discuss boating safety measures - 10/22/11 06:03 PM

No it wasn't a public forum - it was a closed meeting with the representatives of key agencies discussing and planning methods of enforcing existing regulations and implementing additional safety measures.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Meeting held to discuss boating safety measures - 10/22/11 06:05 PM

If anybody has comments or suggestions in regards to boating and swimming safety you can certainly write a letter and submit it to one of the agencies that was mentioned - the BTB, BTIA, the SP Tour Guide Association, SP Town Council, the Belize Port Authority and SACNW are all eager to receive feedback.
Posted By: Bear

Re: Meeting held to discuss boating safety measures - 10/22/11 06:50 PM

Do you think SPTC will submit its own letter to the BPA or BTB requestiing resources or making its own recommendations?
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Meeting held to discuss boating safety measures - 10/22/11 07:18 PM

The town councillors were at the meeting so they did that face to face.
Posted By: Bear

Re: Meeting held to discuss boating safety measures - 10/22/11 10:23 PM

I wasn't sure if SPTC would be taking the letter input from owners, residents, tour operators etc., consider those, and then forward SPTC's final requests and suggestions to the government agencies in written form.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Meeting held to discuss boating safety measures - 10/23/11 01:01 AM

If you aren't comfortable submitting a letter to the SPTC send one to SACNW or BTIA - no matter what it will be channeled through.
Posted By: Bear

Re: Meeting held to discuss boating safety measures - 10/23/11 03:30 AM

That's not a problem Amanda, but thanks for thought. I just wasn't sure of local process. smile
Posted By: Marty

Re: Meeting held to discuss boating safety measures - 10/28/11 01:21 PM

Belize Tourism Board Focusing on Boat Safety

Belize City, Belize – October 26, 2011 – The Belize Tourism Board hosted a three day workshop from October 21 to 23, 2011, at the YWCA with boat captains and personnel from Fab Tours and Splash Wave Tours, water operators working in the Fort George Tourism Zone, on Boat Safety and Emergency Underway Procedures. The course included modules on boating essentials, vessel safety and survival equipment, organization and crew responsibilities, underway procedures and emergency procedures.

These trainings form part of the capacity building opportunities for small tour operators who work within the Fort George Tourism Zone, and support the safety standards currently being developed by the Quality Assurance Department of the Belize Tourism Board.

The training workshops were conducted by Major Gilbert Swaso and Mr. Dwight Neal of Wafagua Nautical Safety Institute (WNSI). The WNSI was formed in 2006 and has been offering boat safety and seamanship courses, as well as International Ships and Port Security Courses. These courses are based on the application of nautical science with the objective of promoting environmental protection as well as strengthening the foundation of the maritime culture in Belize.

Future plans include course offerings in Basic Safety training to enable seafarers to work on international seagoing vessels. For more information on these courses, you can contact the Managing Director - Major Swaso at [email protected] or call 670-8297.

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