News that a new boat ramp will be built on the North Sound side of George Town is welcomed, indeed.
And its timing is right on queue.
We have seen too many deaths in our seas lately.
In some of those instances it is believed the victims would be alive today if there had been quicker response from land based agencies such as police and ambulance.
A new dock in the North Sound area will mean that those who find themselves in need of medical attention on the water can be gotten to shore and hospital faster.
Unfortunately the North Sound boat ramp at the George Town Barcadere received much damage from Hurricane Ivan in September 2004.
That ramp fell the way of many items after Hurricane Ivan – it wasn’t missed so it wasn’t replaced.
But the deaths have proven that a ramp in that area is not only beneficial, but necessary.
The good news is that the new ramp could be ready within four to six weeks.
We hope that now that the decision has been made to build a ramp, work will begin quickly.
While we are coming out of traditionally busy tourism seasons, we will still have visitors – both stayover and cruisers – who want to venture out in to our waters to participate in diving, snorkelling and swimming with the stingrays.
It is imperative that we address the need to have a dock conveniently located for emergency and police personnel.
We already run the risk of having our reputation as a safe dive destination marred with the recent spate of deaths of visiting tourists.
We need to show our visitors and the world that we take our reputation seriously and will do what is needed to ensure the safety of our guests.
The new ramp won’t just benefit visitors who find themselves in distress.
It will also be a convenient location for all fishermen and boaters in that area.
It will also afford the Cayman Islands Police Service Marine Unit another site to dock its boats and wave runners.
News of a new multi-million dollar marine base in Newlands was also welcomed last week.
It will go a long way in helping distressed boaters and water users.
The new North Sound dock will just be lagniappe – a little something extra – when the marine base is built.