Action will be taken to curb ongoing delinquency and lawlessness among some watersports operators.

This assurance has come from International Transport Minister, George Hutson, who has?? maintained that beaches and near-shore waters must be managed?? in a manner,?? that ensures that all users?? are able to enjoy their?? respective activities in a "safe manner with due respect for the rights of each other."

The Minister’s comments came during a recent Thanksgiving Service to launch week-long celebrations to commemorate World Maritime Day, which is observed internationally on September 23.

"We continue to have challenges with regard to the safe use of watercraft; the high speeds at which some operators sail or drive craft in near-shore waters, particularly when there are bathers in the water. I have no doubt that most water sports operators are responsible and safety conscious. However, to the few that are delinquent, action will be taken to address this lawlessness," he said.

To this end, Minister Hutson disclosed he had instructed officers within his Ministry to commence an educational, training and public awareness programme with respect to the safe use of watercraft and the regulations governing the issue of licences.

Describing the Caribbean Sea as one of the world’s great shipping thoroughfares, Minister Hutson announced that effective May 1, next year, the Caribbean Sea will be been designated a "Special Area" under Annex V of the International Convention for the Prevention of pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

"This means from that date the disposal of garbage and other pollutants in the wider Caribbean Sea is strictly prohibited, except in cases where it is processed in accordance with Annex V," the Minister maintained, while alluding to the potentially "catastrophic impact which a major pollution incident would have on local economies."

Activities to observe Maritime Week will continue tomorrow, Wednesday, September 22, with guided tours of the Bridgetown Port from noon until 4:00 p.m.

On Thursday, World Maritime Day, Barbadians will have the opportunity to glean historical insight into the seafaring industry through a series of newspaper supplements.??

On Friday, September 24, the curtain will come down on the Maritime celebrations, with a Careers Showcase at the Barbados Coast Guard facility on Spring Garden, St. Michael, beginning at 10:30 a.m.

The focus will be on training opportunities and careers available in the maritime sector- including those on board ships and yachts, as well as within those other disciplines which impact on the well-being and safety of the ships, their crew, and ship equipment.

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