The number of water-related deaths was an issue raised Tuesday (27 November) at a public meeting at the George Town Yacht Club.
Thirteen people have died in Cayman Islands waters in 2018.
The Safety At Sea seminar tackled a number of concerns raised by the public, ranging from preventing deaths in Cayman’s waters to addressing bad behavior by boaters. Those aboard the vessel in Cayman’s most recent water-related death were able to render CPR assistance, it’s something that Shipping Registry Marine Inspector Ned Miller said needs to be the standard.
“In most of the world, people that are operating those businesses are required to undertake some form of basic safety training that teaches them CPR and how to use AED,” said Mr. Miller.
It was at the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association’s (WISTA) Safety At Sea seminar that concerns like Mr. Miller’s were raised.
Health and Environment Minister Hon. Dwayne Seymour pledged to take action.
“So we are going to reach out to WISTA to try and get some of these people on who are willing to volunteer on a steering committee for us to put this on the right footing. We can’t wait any longer, there’s a lot of tourists visiting this island and there’s a lot of liability, so we need to ensure that the Government protects themselves,” said Mr. Seymour.
Mr. Miller said there are currently no laws in place for boaters consuming alcohol.
“At this time, No, there is nothing in the books that dissuade you from drinking and operating a marine craft,” said Mr. Miller.
As for speeding, Mr. Miller said boaters should know and obey their restrictions.
“Within 1,500 feet of the port there is a five-not limit as they are in other parts of the island where ever you see those buoys that say no wake zone, five-knot limit that is actually the legal posted limit at this time. And if they are exceeding that then they are violating the law. Outside of that, unfortunately, as far as I’m aware there is nothing to protect the average boater,” said Mr. Miller
The RCIPS Marine Unit and Cayman’s new Coast Guard leaders were also on hand to address concerns raised at the meeting.