Today’s Editorial for March 19th: Waves, wind make Sandbar unsafe

High winds and seas mean that boating in the Cayman Islands isn’t going to be safe for the next day or so.

Weather got so bad yesterday that access to the Sandbar was limited.

Officers with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and Customs Marine Unit will monitor the weather and sea states today to determine whether the Sandbar should remain closed, access limited or to open it.

It would seem that common sense would tell boaters and those wishing to be transported to the Sandbar or Stingray City that high winds and waves spell danger.

But unfortunately visitors who arrive in our country on cruise ships have only the one day to take in all we have to offer.

One of the things that attracts people to Grand Cayman is Stingray City.

In fact swimming with our rays was listed No. 1 in an article titled 50 Great Things to do in the Caribbean in the online edition of the Telegraph newspaper.

Our rays and visitors’ ability to feed and pet them have also gotten much praise in the National Geographic and the Miami Herald.

So it’s no wonder people coming to visit us want to experience the rays.

Couple that with the need for tour operators to make a decent living and you have people willing to take a chance on rough seas to go to Stingray City and the Sandbar.

We do hope tour operators are using the utmost caution in transporting our visitors.

As much fun as swimming with and feeding the stingrays can be, a bad experience because of weather can mean that a visitor leaves our island, returns home and tells others of a negative experience in the Cayman Islands.

That, in turn, can have a negative impact on tourism.

There were six ships anchored off Grand Cayman yesterday and two are slated to arrive today. Six more are supposed to be here Thursday.

Winds are expected to remain brisk, so it is possible that the Sandbar and Stingray City could be closed to tourist traffic.

If they are, we hope our visitors realise the decision to close the sites is based on their safety.

Hopefully our visitors would take any such closures in stride and realise that the Cayman Islands has their best interest in mind.

As much fun as swimming with and feeding the stingrays can be, a bad experience because of weather can mean that a visitor leaves our island, returns home and tells others of a negative experience in the Cayman Islands.