Pleasure boaters could soon be required to take pilot’s tests before being allowed on the water.
New training and testing regulations for anyone owning or operating larger pleasure boats are under consideration.
Legislators this week approved a private members’ motion from North Side MLA Ezzard Miller to consider introducing a required test on safety, navigation and operating a boat in Cayman’s waters.
Mr. Miller said there had been an increase in the number as well as the size and speed of boats being driven in Cayman’s waters by people who did not know what they were doing.
“If you don’t think this is a problem, go to Rum Point on a Sunday evening … there is no respect for boats going on the starboard side or sail boats or anything else. Everybody is going crazy. Most of them have been partaking of alcoholic beverages for the whole afternoon,” he said.
Mr. Miller said he had almost been run over in his own “very small” boat. He said it was time for regulation.
“There are enough boats out there on the water now being driven by people who have no knowledge of the rules,” he said.
Though the motion specifically referred to “pleasure boaters,” Mr. Miller also criticized standards in the dive industry.
He said many were ignoring rules about having a lookout on board the vessel when divers were underwater and suggested some companies were putting inexperienced skippers at the helms of their boats.
“Some of these people come out of areas, they’ve never seen salt water before, never seen a boat before but because they got a dive master qualification, they put them to drive the boat as well, everybody is in the water and nobody’s on lookout.”
Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said government supported the motion and would work with the Port Authority and others to decide the best way forward.