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Us Rape Alert Over Jet Skiers

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

DAYS after an American woman was allegedly raped by a man riding a Jet Ski at Cabbage Beach, the United States Embassy in Nassau has “prohibited” its employees from using Jet Ski rentals in Nassau, saying the industry is “minimally regulated.”

The embassy also advised American citizens not to patronise Jet Ski operators in this country as it also warned US citizens living in or travelling to the Bahamas to “be aware of their surroundings and remain on heightened alert to avoid being victims of crime”.

Last night, Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna Martin reacted to the move, stressing that the government has a “zero tolerance” policy as it relates to the industry. In a statement, she said the alleged attacker in Saturday’s incident was not a part of the water sports industry, but was riding a Jet Ski on a private beach.

“Since July 2014, there have been five sexual assaults of US citizens by Jet Ski operators in Nassau, the most recent on January 2, 2016,” an embassy security advisory, which was issued yesterday, said.

“As a result, the US Embassy has prohibited personnel under US Embassy Chief of Mission authority from using the services of Jet Ski rental operators in Nassau. This includes Jet Ski operators on Cabbage Beach and Cable Beach. We strongly advise that US citizens do the same and not patronise these services. Jet Ski rentals in the Bahamas are only minimally regulated.”

Meanwhile, Mrs Hanna Martin said she would meet with representatives from the industry today to discuss the repercussions from the embassy’s decision.

“This incident did not involve a participant in the Jet Ski industry,” she said. “However, certain public comments in the aftermath of this incident may have had the unfortunate effect of erroneously projecting that the alleged perpetrator was a licensed operator when in fact he was not.

“The commercial water sports industry is governed by the Commercial Recreation and Water Craft Act and all operators are subject to full vetting by the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) before licensing. “The government of The Bahamas has instituted a zero tolerance policy in the industry, however, despite our efforts, challenges do remain. I have discussed this challenge with the Ministry of National Security who has undertaken to assist our efforts in ensuring a lawful and orderly environment. I shall be meeting with owners and operators tomorrow (Wednesday) to discuss this advisory and its potential impact on their livelihood. Again in the interest of accuracy, the most recent incident did not involve anyone who is licensed to engage in commercial water sports.”

The most recent alleged sexual attack occurred on Saturday. Police said an American woman was on Cabbage Beach, Paradise Island around 5pm, when a man on a Jet Ski allegedly raped her.

Weeks earlier, in December 2015, police arrested a Jet Ski operator in connection with an alleged sexual assault of a female visitor.

That incident also happened near Cabbage Beach.

On Sunday, Ed Fields, Atlantis’ senior vice-president of public relations, released a statement saying such incidents have reached “unacceptable levels.” The hotel executive called for “bold, decisive and immediate action” to address the problem.

Mrs Hanna-Martin told The Tribune on Monday: “The industry is regulated, but we do have a lot of challenges like this one. I have been speaking with the minister of national security and we are discussing using the police and the defence force to assist with patrolling the beach.

“These sorts of incidents have been a concern of mine for a while and we do have challenges but we are working to address them. For example, since January 1, 2015 no Jet Ski operator is allowed to accompany someone on the Jet Ski, but people still don’t know this. So we will use the defence force and the police force to help us with enforcement and regulation and prevent incidents, where people are being hurt and attacked, from happening.”

A 29-year-old man was arraigned in Magistrate’s Court yesterday in connection with Saturday’s incident.

Comments

Honestman 3 years, 6 months ago

“Since July 2014, there have been five sexual assaults of US citizens by Jet Ski operators in Nassau".

This is a national disgrace. Why has Hanna Martin not done something about this sooner? Why does it take a US Advisory to prompt government into action? If these jet ski operators can't be properly regulated then they need to be banned from Cabbage Beach and other beach areas. Tourists are entitled to spend a day on the beach without being menaced by these low life characters.

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Clamshell 3 years, 6 months ago

So the minister believes that multiple rapes of tourists are a "challenge". Gosh. One wonders what eupemisms the PLP will come up with next to describe the multiple rapes and murders in the nation's capital. Well, I do hope that nothing stops the government and its feckless police force from enjoying their lunch and checking out at 3 p.m. every day, as usual. Heaven forbid that anyone should get upset about anything.

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B_I_D___ 3 years, 6 months ago

Can almost give you a 100% guarantee that there were more than the '5 reported cases', so much of the crime our tourists face never make the news. I have heard numerous stories of friends and friends of friends telling stories about how their hotel room was broken into and things were stolen. Hotel security and management 'deal with it' but the crime never gets out into the public arena.

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asiseeit 3 years, 6 months ago

The jet ski operators are the terrorists of the sea in The Bahamas.

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MonkeeDoo 3 years, 6 months ago

Forget enhancing anything. Ban these things completely. They will deatroy this industry for all Bahamians. How can a tourist yell the difference between a licenced jet ski operator and a non licenced one.

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Emac 3 years, 6 months ago

This woman is clueless! I imagine that she spends most of her time hidden in her office, eating p potato bread and letting out gas.

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Regardless 3 years, 6 months ago

...many years ago a former politician stated at a private function that outside the construction, jet ski rentals was the only industry that would hire ex-convicts and therefore there had to be leniency in dealing with the operators. Needless to say, the chickens have come home to roost.

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MonkeeDoo 3 years, 6 months ago

I have been told personally that this business is the BIGGEST PROBLEM that the US Embassy has in this Country. If I was told, then the Minister was also told, and probably the PM also. She cannot regulate Bahamians driving cars, nor can the Police. The Defense Force cannot stop a Haitian sloop till it hits Yamacraw Beach, so who the hell does she think she is fooling saying they will get the Police and Defense Force to help. Stop regulating it and close the business down. If not the US Government will close us down. Stupidity is the Mother of Calamity ! It is amazing that a handful of these water rats can have so much political pull that the Government won't do what has to be done. Hard to believe. But look at the web shops. They running the Government now.

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Chucky 3 years, 6 months ago

Our country, The Bahamas is a pitiful disgrace on so many levels. It's astounding how many of our "Bahamians" walk around with arrogance and pride within our Banana Republic.

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John 3 years, 6 months ago

What A total overkill. And xactly the reaction the US Embassy wants. IF IT IS DETERMINED that the perpetrator of the alleged sexual assault was just a private citizen and not a part of the commercial jet ski operators, then the US warning should be withdrawn. The jet ski operators seem more organized and less aggressive than ever before and Ed Fields seem to have been on a mission to dismantle this industry and remove every Black Bahamian off Paradise since he set foot in Atlantis. If the person that allegedly did the crime has been charged and being brought to justice then why punish an entire industry of (Black) Bahamians? Did you know that in one single incident on Vero Beach, Florida, ELEVEN persons were shot? Was an advisory put out advising persons not to go on the beaches in Florida? If it wasn't the jet ski renters then why lash out at them rather than ensure that they are not wrongly persecuted?

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paul_vincent_zecchino 3 years, 6 months ago

Can you relate any more details about the mass shooting in Vero Beach? Unable to find anything on it in Florida or national media reports. Thank you.

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John 3 years, 6 months ago

Actually it was Panama City and not Vero Beach. Google "spring break shootings on Florida beach"

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John 3 years, 6 months ago

you are the idiot. I am not David to stand against Goliath but I know right and I stand for it. Hwy does the truth hurt you so much? Maybe because you are not an idiot?

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Baha10 3 years, 6 months ago

Well known to all for years that Jet Ski Operators work for Politicians, who secure their Licences, thereby ensuring not only a modern day system of indentured servitude, but also an umbrella of protection, which enables them to harass tourists for the use of their "equipment", both motorized and personal, together with whatever drugs they may wish to partake in. Regrettably, there is "no will" to address the problem, even though it employs a mere handful at the risk of our whole Tourist Industry, as the financial reward for the Political Elite is simply too great. Sad, but very much true. Just investigate who holds the Licences or is otherwise behind the nominees or fronts and you will have all the proof you need.

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banker 3 years, 6 months ago

What you say is true. I would urge you to look at the licencees of the jetskis NP450 etc. Not only are they held in servitude, but being enterprising, a jetski operator is the perfect cover to make more money by sellings drugs to unsuspecting tourists.

While jogging on Cabbage Beach, I came across a young boy, a tourist who was no older than 14, trying to roll what he thought was marijuana into a reefer. He said that a jetski operator sold it to him. It looked more like sea oats leaves and dried pigeon pea leaves.

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John 3 years, 6 months ago

So when is the movie coming out?

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John 3 years, 6 months ago

Every young black person trying to make a living in this country is under attack. That's the real terrorism right there.

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BMW 3 years, 6 months ago

Hanna Martin is out of her mind! Excuse after excuse, they needcto get serious and shut them down. We have the same problem with jet skisxand bananna boats here in Freeport, they know no law. They feel entitled to do as they wish and nobody, Defense Force, Marine Patrol do anything. There is your zero tolerence, what a joke.

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John 3 years, 6 months ago

Rape charges against Bill Cosby has been dropped? Ok then! Ever figured why his son was murdered?

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BMW 3 years, 6 months ago

John the terrorists in this country run it.

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John 3 years, 6 months ago

Most black persons (persons not people) do not have the resources to be terrorist. They barely quality to be victims!

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 6 months ago

Most terrorists don't have personal funds, the only asset they possess is (in most cases) is anger. Clearly there are financiers willing to invest in them

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Emac 3 years, 6 months ago

Yep, the conspiracist is at it again. Never mind people taking responsibility for their irresponsible actions.

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John 3 years, 6 months ago

Like trying to destroy a whole nation EMac. Actions based on jealousy and prejudice amen!

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John 3 years, 6 months ago

Yall so flipping blind. It's all leading to the one word system. Either you in or you will be eliminated

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A71618 2 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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