ADOMS Hosts Jet-Ski Town Hall Meeting

ADOMS Hosts Jet-Ski Town Hall Meeting
10 Jul 2020

The Antigua and Barbuda Department of Marine Services and Merchant Shipping (ADOMS) invited all owners and operators of jet skis, used for both pleasure and commercial operations, to participate in a town hall sensitization meeting on July 8th, 2020 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the Multi-Purpose Centre. Presentations were delivered by a panel which included representatives from ADOMS, the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force Coast Guard, the Ministry of Tourism and the Port Authority.

Ambassador Dwight Gardiner, Director and Registrar General of ADOMS, welcomed the participants indicating that that the objective of the meeting was to increase public awareness. He said that this meeting was a follow up to the meeting that was hosted by the Coast Guard on June 2nd, 2020 with the Skidadli group of jet ski operators which came about following the numerous complaints that had been made, and continue to be made, regarding dangerous jet ski practices.

Cdr. Elroy Skerritt, Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard, was very clear in his presentation on the requirements of the Small Craft Control Act 2015 and its 2017 Regulations which include the safe operational practices for jet skis. His presentation also highlighted the impact of jet ski misuse as well as enforceable offences such as the operation of jet skis (or any small power watercraft or personal watercraft) near a beach, exceeding the limit of 5kts within 75m from the shoreline, operating jet skis under the influence (or any small power watercraft or personal watercraft) and coming within 50m of sea bathers. Persons committing these offences are liable on summary conviction, where no other penalty is provided for, to a fine not exceeding thirty thousand dollars $30,000 or imprisonment for one year or both, detention of watercrafts and the cancellation or suspension of licenses.

Participants were given the option to attend in person, with the condition that all stipulated government health protocols be adhered to, or via Zoom or Facebook Live.