Categorized | National News

Jet Ski Operators Upset Over Rape Incident

Cabbage Beach Jet Ski operators are upset and disgusted lamenting their name is once again wrongfully being dragged down in the mud, after police on Monday reported that a Cabbage Beach Jet Ski operator is in custody for sexually assaulting a Canadian female tourist.

According to reports, the Jet Ski operator around 1 p.m. offered the Canadian woman a ride and took her to Athol Island where he raped her.

The man then returned the woman to Cabbage Beach and the matter was turned over to the police.

Senior Jet Ski operators Natius Mejias and Neville Taylor told The Bahama Journal that they are disheartened by the incident, but insisted the blame should be cast elsewhere.

“All of the jet ski operators, we have valid ID. All of us are properly uniformed,” said Mr. Mejias.

“These guys come from Over-the-Hill, do as they please, and put us in the problem that we are facing right now. So we want to make sure let everybody know the gentlemen involved in what happened yesterday, he’s not a Jet Ski operator.

“That person is not licenced to be on the beach. He’s a drifter. It is not our job to stop him. It is the authorities’ job. Any problem facing Paradise Island today, it is that the police allow it to take place.”

With there being a history of such incidences, the U.S. has in recent years sent out advisories warning its citizens to refrain from patronizing the Jet Ski businesses here in the capital.

This does not sit too well with Jet Ski operator Wayde Riley who also had some assuring words for visitors.

“Like I say, everyone has ID’s. If they can’t show you an ID to say that I’m a Jet Ski operator, or I do parasailing, or I do banana boat, I do snorkeling, sight-seeing, fishing, it is not legitimate,” said Mr. Riley.

“Tourists should not be fearful because we’re here to please and not to tease. We have to make sure our guests are comfortable and satisfied, making sure they get quality for their money.”

The Ministry of Tourism in a statement expressed its displeasure surrounding Monday’s incident.

“The Ministry of Tourism and Aviation wishes to acknowledge the gravity of this situation, and to condemn this heinous crime.  The safety of our residents and visitors is paramount,” the statement read.

“Efforts have been made to implement stronger management of the Jet Ski industry in recent years, but more must be done. Combined efforts by the public and private sectors will be stepped up to ensure that our visitors can enjoy our water sports attractions without fear for their safety or well being. The Ministry of Tourism and Aviation is committed to working together with the Ministry of Transport to take extreme measures to implement stringent regulations for the water sports industry.”

Back in March during an interview with The Bahama Journal, Maritime Consultant at the Ministry of Transport and Aviation Brent Williamson said he is confident that the country can rest assure that the jet ski business is not about to risk its reputation.

“In recent times, in the last eight to nine months, we’ve introduced zero tolerance policy on the beaches. We work along with the Royal Bahamas Defense Force as well as the Royal Bahamas Police Force. We have implemented strict zero tolerance policies in terms of ID’s. People are vetted,” said Mr. Williamson.

The Bahama Journal reached out to the governing Port Authority Board for comment yesterday, but at the time its members were in meetings.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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