GT boat ramp eye

At least one new boat ramp will be installed on the North Sound side of George Town District to allow watercraft easier access to that area, Cayman Islands lawmakers said earlier this month.

George Town

The area where the George Town Barcadere boat ramp is planned. Photo: Brent Fuller

The decision comes in the wake of some recent deadly watersports-related accidents in the North Sound, incidents in which police and medical responses were questioned.

Three members of the Legislative Assembly, Works and Infrastructure Minister Arden McLean and George Town MLAs Lucille Seymour and Alfonso Wright, toured the area last week searching for a suitable spot for a new entrance and exit ramp.

‘One of the priorities we have is a George Town launch ramp,’ said Mr. McLean. ‘There’s no place in George Town other than the Lobster Pot…which is fine for that side of the country. But in the North Sound we are very conscious that there is nothing…to get you in.’

Ms Seymour said there once was a viable boat ramp in that area of the North Sound at the George Town Barcadere, but it was damaged during Hurricane Ivan. She said some reconstruction would have to be done, but she estimated such a project could be completed in four to six weeks.

‘If you don’t put one there, they would have to go up to Newlands or to the West Bay area in order to get you into George Town,’ Ms Seymour said.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Marine Unit has two boats and three wave runners which are usually docked at Governor’s Harbour, on the far western side of the North Sound.

There are plans to build a multi-million dollar marine base in Newlands on the south-eastern side of the sound, where a boat ramp is already located.

RCIPS Superintendent Mike Needham said a George Town ramp in between those two locations would provide quicker access to the HSA and Chrissie Tomlinson hospitals for medical crews bringing patients to shore.

Mr. Needham also noted a new boat ramp in that area might help speed police response into the North Sound if it’s needed.

‘We do use various public launching ramps in the North Sound area, near to the Lobster Pot,’ said Needham. ‘But it would be very handy to have something there (in the Barcadere).’

Ms Seymour said she’d also like the ramp to be available to fishermen and other people who use boats.