Today’s Editorial April 03: Protocol results from bad day

Was last Wednesday the worst day of tourism that has ever been known in the Cayman Islands?

We don’t think so, but it sure wasn’t great.

A series of events led The Royal Cayman Islands Police Marine Unit to close down the Sandbar to boat traffic.

The closure led to lots of disappointed tourists and angry tour boat owners and captains.

A hasty meeting was called between police and tour owners where disappointment was expressed over the closure.

Tourism Minister Charles Clifford now concedes there could have been better communication between the Marine Unit and tour boat operators.

If anything good has come out of last week’s events it is that a protocol for future closures is now being drawn up.

Under the protocol tour boat owners, the Ministry of Tourism and the Department of Environment would be notified if the Marine Unit calls for a closure.

In the meantime the Ministry, DoE, watersports operators and the Port Authority will be consulted if a closure is warranted.

The Marine Unit decided to close the sandbar after two people were stung by jellyfish and another received a minor injury from a stingray.

Add to that the high waves and windy conditions and you have a recipe for disaster brewing.

At the end of the day it is up to the Marine Unit to ensure everyone is safe in Cayman’s waters.

We’re lucky that there hasn’t been a major catastrophe in the sea that surrounds our country.

Tour boat operators know when conditions aren’t right for taking visitors out to the sandbar and those that police themselves should be applauded.

It is nice to see that the tour boat operators are willing to work with the Minister to come up with a viable plan.

While Wednesday wasn’t a good day for tourism in the Cayman Islands, it certainly wasn’t the worst and it appears something good is to come out of it.

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