Today’s Editorial January 16: Watersports operators acted responsibly

It was refreshing last week to see watersports operators use their better judgement and keep to the land while ill winds blew.

High winds created heavy surf in the Caribbean Sea last week causing those who offer charter fishing, snorkelling and diving trips to rethink their plans.

While a small craft warning was in place, larger charter and dive boats would have been OK to venture out.

But as experienced as the captains of those vessels might be, it is more than likely that the people going out for the trips would have been novices at dealing with mean surf.

We have seen in the past some watersports operators ignore the weather signs and head off with boat loads of passengers to take them out to Stingray City and the Sandbar.

It is certain they are chasing the tourism dollar and putting visitors in harm’s way by dropping them in violent waters.

Snorkelling and diving aren’t to be tried by even the faintest of heart, but even a healthy, confident diver can get panicked in bad weather conditions.

There aren’t any regulations in place dictating when watersports operators can take tours out, depending on weather.

So it is up to each individual company and operator to make the call.

More bad weather is predicted later in the week and we hope that common sense will once again prevail.

While tourists who feel cheated out of a snorkel or dive trip because of weather may complain, they have to realise that the decision to remain on land is made in their best interest.

It would be so much better for those tourists to remain on land, alive and be able to return to the Cayman Islands at a later date when weather conditions are more favourable.

New regulations for Stingray City, the Sandbar and watersports operators are in the offering.

We hope they address, at least in part, bad weather conditions and the decision to put visitors’ lives in danger.