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(SNO) — Maritime consultant, Cuthbert Didier, is making a call for the demarcation of beaches and bays in Saint Lucia to help prevent accidents similar to one that seriously injured a Moroccan diplomat.
Reports are that the diplomat was seriously injured last Sunday from a jet ski accident while swimming at Reduit Beach in Gros Islet.
Didier, who has made several calls for demarcation before, believes such accidents can be avoided.
“There are fairways for sailboats, there are fairways for non-motorized vessels that the tourists use, and there are avenues and gateways to use jet skis,” he told MBC Prime. “I think we’ve come to the point where the carrying capacity, the amount of tourists that are now visiting the island, our beaches are being overran, sea-wise, by these vessels.”
He stated that such a situation make the beaches unsafe for users, adding that over the last nine years there have been over seven fatalities involving propelled vessels and human beings.
“Whether they’ve been cut in half or they’ve lost their heads but they’ve all died,” Didier revealed.
He said that all can earn from the tourism dollar but there must be systems in place to protect people and wildlife in the water.
“If SLASPA is the authority to issue jet skis, thne we have to have a quota, a yearly quota,” he explained. “We need to make sure that these jet skis are licensed and insured, and that the users are trained properly. My concern is that, you and I are on the beach, a tourist is drinking, he or she gets on a jet ski after having five Pitons or four Guinness and is just allowed to go, jet out into the sunset. That is madness.”
He said the same goes for a number of vessels that use the sea.
Meantime, a British national visiting Saint Lucia told MBC Prime that he was not surprised the accident took place.
“I saw two or three boats out there and they were all racing against each other … funny I thought it looked a bit dangerous,” he stated.