Categorized | National News


Deputy Opposition Leader and Exuma MP Chester Cooper said that the report into the Four C’s boating tragedy is an indictment on the government, the Port Department, both of whom are lax and negligent in their oversight. 

His comments came off the heels of the report’s damning findings which found that of the 18 commercial charter boat companies operating from Exuma, only six are registered.

It also discovered that the Port Department lacked enough resources to properly control and regulate commercial water craft operating on the island and in doing so, was unable to enforce the requirements of the Commercial Recreational Watercraft Act. 

Further, the Exuma MP said that an exact cause of the June explosion cannot be determined due to the significant damage sustained during and after the explosion.

The report said, unfortunately without technical drawings, electrical circuit diagram and a schematic of the permanently installed fuel system, an exact model of  the 37ft boat cannot be achieved, preventing any attempt to reconstruct the exact scenario. 

Mr. Cooper stressed that if the industry is to survive and thrive, it must be made sustainable through the responsible efforts of government and operators. 

This, he said, includes proper oversight of licensing and safety protocols. 

The PLP MP also believes that the sector will have to be continually enhanced by promoting marine parks. 

For his part, he said he’s working with tour operators to formalize and advance the tour owners association to deal with intra-industry oversight and coordination. 

Further, he renewed the call to establish a port of entry in Black Point/Staniel Cay.

Maleka Jackson died in the boating explosion, while several others were injured including Jackson’s husband, Tiran. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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