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Vendors Unhappy With Hotels Renting Water Sports Equipment

By RIEL MAJOR

Tribune Staff Reporter

rmajor@tribunemedia.net

SCORES of disgruntled watercraft operators flocked to Goodman’s Bay yesterday to protest against hotels renting vessels to their guests.

They are also angry about the “poor” conditions of the Goodman’s Bay ramp and are calling for the immediate dismissal of the Port Authority’s chairman.

Pedro Sinclair Bannister, vice president of the Cable Beach Water Sports Association, said watercraft operators from Paradise Island and the Sandals resort came together in solidarity at Goodman’s Bay.

Mr Bannister said: “We had a protest concerning the Baha Mar hotel renting motor watercrafts to their guests... they are not supposed to be renting motorised equipment to the guests.

“It’s not fair… if one hotel opens up the door for the hotels to use jet skis and rent any motor watercrafts that will hurt the small business man who [work] out here. We want them to know this is an industry for the Bahamian people. Water sports is not for foreign investors to be investing their money and trying to get involved in our business.”

“When you have a new activity and you want it to be in the hotel, you’re supposed to put it in the newspaper for at least two to three weeks in case someone wants to object; they have the right to object to that. I don’t think they were vetted, they were not put in the newspaper for people to see. They did this in a slick way.”

The vice president said the chairman of the Port Authority is also a security chief at Baha Mar and the association views that as a conflict of interest.

He said: “If we have a problem with the jet ski operators and they have to go the board to [be] disciplined, it’s not fair to have a man working for the hotel discipline the people that work for themselves.

“We are [being] victimised. [This] never happened before and I don’t know how he got this position. We are asking for his immediate removal.”

Mr Bannister also is calling for Works Minister Desmond Bannister to repair the Goodman’s Bay ramp.

He said: “This ramp is in a bad state, this is 2019 we shouldn’t have people lifting jet skis in and out of water. When you go to the States, they have proper ramps and I don’t see why we can’t have that in this same area.”

Additionally, he wants the Port Authority to keep its word on renewing the licences of jet ski operators from a hotel on the Cable Beach strip.

He explained: “We have people that had a jet ski licence that were working at the Nassau Beach Hotel. Now the hotel was knocked down and Port Authority told us when the hotel opened back up, we will be placed back at our place of business.

“I don’t see what the hang up is for us going back there. We were supposed to be the first person to go back there. Not a new company coming in and getting new numbers to operate…that’s a big problem. This doesn’t leave a good taste in our mouth and if the chairman or the minister don’t hear me, Supreme Court will hear me.”

He added: “I’m a Bahamian; I didn’t fly here and there are a lot of foreigners on the beaches now. I don’t discriminate against nobody, but you have Haitians renting jet skis now, Jamaicans renting jets skis, next we going to have Chinese and Cubans. This is The Bahamas, I can’t go to these places and rent jet skis; this place is too slack. Bahamas water sports are for Bahamians.”

The Tribune made numerous attempts to contact the Port Authority for a comment, but efforts were unsuccessful up to press time.

Comments

BMW 2 months, 1 week ago

They only have themselves to blame

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Groidal 2 months, 1 week ago

Ha, you can't make this stuff up! The "jetski operators" aka gangs of armed thugs terrorizing the beaches of PI and Cable Beach for many years, are not content with merely non stop rape, assault and harassment of tourists and also being the biggest source of open drug activity in the Bahamas...NOW they are "upset" that Baha Mar has taken matters into their own hands and are forcing these thugs out of business by running a properly operated water sports business themselves

Gee, now who'll kidnap tourists and take them out past Salt Cay and assualt them on a daily basis? What a travesty! It's just not fairrrrrr!

You go Baha Mar!!!!

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tetelestai 2 months, 1 week ago

Regardless of your feeling toward the jet ski operators, the fact remains that they have a point. The Bahamas National Investment Policy reserves water sports for Bahamian participation only. Baha Mar, or any other foreigner for that matter, should not operate in this area, save for a specific derogation from the government. Let's try and see the forest from the trees, Groidal.

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Hoda 2 months, 1 week ago

Boy Bahamians really loose with this corruption word. It couldn't be that people don't wanna rent a dirty jetski from a dirty looking person.

Need we even get to the rape issue.

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Clamshell 2 months, 1 week ago

The hotels have a right to protect their guests from predators.

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proudloudandfnm 2 months, 1 week ago

Love to see those thug jet ski operators closed down, they respect no one, they're nothing but thugs. They're the second worse after jitney drivers....

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TalRussell 2 months, 1 week ago

Yes, yes Comrade "His Imperial Eminence" the Prime Minster, should hand out another job for Mark Holowesko........ become head man's for Watercraft Operators, yes, no?

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Gotoutintime 2 months, 1 week ago

Sorry they have made their own beds with their despicable behavior. Now let them suffer!

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licks2 2 months, 1 week ago

All yinna missing the point as usual it seems. . . water sports is truly for BAHAMIANS ONLY!! With that fact being established. . .the logical conclusion is. . .WHO IS BAHAMIAN!! Can that definition include BAHAMIAN COMPANIES??? I dare say a resounding "YES"!!!

Ergo. . .Haitian Bahamians. . .Chinese Bahamians. . .Jamaican Bahamians. . .a BAHAMIAN COMPANY. . .like Baha Mar. . .CAN APPLY? Even get a licence to operate any business allowed by Government!!

THAT ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT AND ALL YOU WHO TALK LIKE "THEY GETTING ROB" ARE REASONING WITH YA HEADS IN THE GROUND. . .the key word that makes most of yinna sound foolish is "BAHAMIAN". . .hehehehehehehehehehehehe!! My peoples them . . .yinna really have ta do better than this!!

Them jet skies boys just get outgunned. . ."se la vie" . . .up ya game. . .

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tetelestai 2 months, 1 week ago

That is absolute nonsense, licks2. The Bahamas' National Investment Policy (NIP) is very clear on this issue. A Bahamian company, as defined by the NIP, is a company where all - I repeat ALL! - of the owners of said company are Bahamian nationals (source: www.bahamas.gov.bs). Therefore, in this example, Baha Mar, whose beneficial owners are not 100% Bahamian nationals, do NOT qualify as a Bahamian company. Very simple to be honest. What is ironic, though, is that you are admonishing us for "missing the point", when you are so far off the mark that you must be related to Christopher Columbus!

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DWW 2 months, 1 week ago

is now a good time to talk about liability insurance, safety protocols, public safety, proper training, tourism/hospitality/Bahamahost training. background checks, proper licensing and review board, business licenses, VAT registration etc. no? oh nevermind.

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John 2 months, 1 week ago

The intention is to keep Bahamians on the front page portrayed as violent, thugs predators, killers, lazy, and use it to take every dollar out of our pockets. They stealing your country from right under your feet and our leaders our blinded. Don't forget what they did and continuing to to Jamaica.Brazil, Venezuela, Barbados...Minnis..invest more money in Bahamians, especially young men, and stopp take, take taking...!

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John 2 months, 1 week ago

The long shadow of American slavery

"More than a century after African American slavery came to an end, shadows of these systems remain. Despite much progress, patterns of privilege and power remain in place that prevent equal access to justice and economic opportunity.

Right now, there are more young African-American men behind bars, on parole or on probation than were enslaved in the 1850s. African Americans are nearly twice as likely as whites to have zero or negative financial net worth—33.9 percent compared to 18.6 percent. According to the most recent census, the average net worth for African American families was $4,900, compared to $97,000 for whites. Even after controlling for other factors, African Americans are far more likely than whites to be stopped and searched, handcuffed, subjected to nonlethal force and shot to death by police. These are the poisonous fruits of centuries-old thefts and continuing prejudices. In recent months, this festering poison has risen to the surface in the shape of so, so many painful hashtags—each one representing the loss of one more life created in God’s image.

So what can each of us do to move in the direction of healing and justice?

A good place for each of us to start would be to locate, listen, learn and leverage.

Locate and cultivate friendships that can challenge you. Do you have friendships with people from other ethnic backgrounds that run so deep that these individuals are able to challenge your prejudicial assumptions or attitudes? If you aren’t certain whether or not you have such a friend, you don’t.

Listen and weep before you speak. What is your first impulse when it appears that an unarmed person of color is killed by law-enforcement officers? If your first impulse is to score political points or to seek justification, stop. Be broken over the loss of a life formed in God’s image and grieve the way that the brokenness in our world has taken a disproportionate toll on communities of color. Listen to your brothers and sisters whose skin is a different color than yours, and consider how this event looks from their vantage point."

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John 2 months, 1 week ago

"Learn the African-American experience. In many educational institutions, a white student can pursue degrees all the way from a bachelor’s to a Ph.D. and never read a single word about African American history or a single work written by a black or brown scholar. A student of color, however, can’t make it through the first semester without studying the story of white civilization. If you aren’t familiar with such events as the Middle Passage, the Stono Rebellion, Nat Turner’s uprising, Jim Crow, the Great Migration and the murder of Emmett Till, do some remedial reading before you do any more talking or tweeting. Start with Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? then move on to Divided by Faith, A Stone of Hope, and other books about the black experience in America. Let those works be the seedbed for a more diverse reading list in your future"

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