I would like to be given space to clear up a few details on an article that was published in this newspaper on Friday, 12 August, 2011, titled “Boaters oppose Barkers hurricane shelter”. I would also like to mention that comments made by a certain individual in this same article that boat owners were suspicious that there were “ulterior motives” and “hidden agendas” behind the proposal is completely untrue.
In fact, the truth of the matter is, the majority of boat owners supports the idea and is only interested in where would be the best place for us to have such a shelter.
I would also like to say that I fully support the current government and the Dart Group with their projects for progress of these Islands. I also support the idea of a hurricane shelter for boats and I can say with confidence that most boat owners feel the same way and support the general idea. Unfortunately, some boat owners were unable to attend the first meeting with Captain Eugene Ebanks and they seem to have been misinformed on exactly what part of Barkers is in question and how the project will be carried out.
I think that most boat owners like the idea of a shelter being located at the Salt Creek area rather than the Barkers location because we feel that it provides more security. This location is also one that Capt. Eugene felt was a good area and he informed us at the meeting that he would suggest both areas as prospective shelters to the Dart Group, which he was hoping would provide financial support for the project.
We all agreed with Capt. Eugene at that initial meeting that we needed such an area for our boats and that he had our full support, which he does.
Therefore, it is just a question of which site will be unanimously agreed upon, and the Barkers site seems more likely, especially with the fresh idea from and a few tour boat operators to perhaps turn the site into a permanent home with a mini marina for locals as well as using it as a boat shelter during hurricanes. This is good news and will benefit all local boat operators, as we have long wanted an area where we could call our very own.
Caymanian Land and Sea Cooperative