Spotts Dock nearly ready

The Spotts Landing cruise support facility could be ready for business again as early as the end of this month.

The site is being upgraded to new mandated security and safety standards under the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code.

A large area has already been fenced, stretching from the water right up to near the road at Spotts Landing and now what remains to be finished is the parking lot, explained Port Facility Security Officer Joseph Woods.

Following this the Spotts Dock will be added to the Port Facility Security Plan, which will then be submitted for approval. This, however, should merely be a formality, said Mr. Woods, as the site has already been inspected by security officials from overseas. The Port Authority submits its plans to Transec (the department for transport in the UK) for approval, and they then need to be approved by the International Maritime Organisation.

The parking lot is to be on the west side of the property. There are three areas in the fence on this side from which the passengers will exit, said Mr. Woods.

The Spotts facility is used for cruise ships when waters are too choppy in George Town. However, the dock has only been allowed to operate in emergency circumstances since the ISPS Code was mandated in July.

This has meant that some days recently ships could not dock at all in the Cayman Islands and had to sail right by.

Once it comes into compliance with the terms of this code, hopefully at the end of February, it will be availed of again as a support cruise facility.

The George Town Port came into compliance with the ISPS code 1 July 2004, when the new standards came into effect.

The code was triggered by US terrorist attacks in 2001, after which the cruise ship industry was viewed as being vulnerable.

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