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Addressing the Problem of Jet Skis in Tobago

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Tobago-based marine services operator Store Bay Marine Services (SBMS) is working with the Association of Tobago Dive Operators (ATDO) to address the problem of jet skies cruising around the anchorage at Store Bay. It comes after a number of incidents, including damage done to a visiting yacht at anchor in November when a jet ski ran into the boat’s stern, causing damage. Like many others in the Caribbean, Tobago is still trying to deal with the regulation and safety issues regarding Jet-ski’s. A recent ruling in the Seventh Civil Court of Trinidad in the case of Quesnel & Laso v. Tobago House of Assembly & Pigeon Point Heritage Park has clearly established that the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) has a duty of care to prevent injury to users of the water.  With this in mind and the inherent dangers that these craft present to all water users (ATDO), SBMS and other marine interests have started to lobby the relevant THA ministries and Coastguard to ensure that the existing legislation is enforced and if necessary further legislation is enacted to prevent any more accidents or injuries.

The mooring buoys which were laid in 2008 in Store Bay, remain free of charge, however they also remain free of maintainance.  SBMS contacted the Ministry of Fisheries about this and are still in discussions with them; in the meantime I would advise all cruisers to anchor in Store Bay, rather than pick up a buoy.  At present less than half of the original buoys remain so there is plenty of space. SBMS is also in contact with the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Fisheries with regards to building of a dinghy dock at Cable Beach/Store Bay to give both beach users and cruisers a bit more space.

With regards to the previous problems of noise pollution in Store Bay, SBMS can report that the situation has improved vastly. Bago’s Beach Bar has now had a change of management.  With this change,there has been a dramatic decibel drop and the bar is a friendly and welcoming drinking hole where yachties can enjoy a quiet beer and food while overlooking the anchorage at Store Bay. There is a nice mix of locals, yachties and expats alike which makes for a very pleasant atmosphere. Store Bay Marine Services is please to welcome on board Katy Young, our newest recruit and Marketing Director.  She will, over the coming months, be organising the opening of our new branch in Charlotteville and co-authoring a new cruising guide to Tobago.

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So Caribbean you can almost taste the rum...

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