Thu | Sep 23, 2021

Tourist struck by Jet Ski in Negril, battling for life

Published:Tuesday | January 28, 2014 | 3:15 PM

Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer

A tourist is now battling for life at the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital in Westmoreland after he was struck in the head by a jet ski.

The man, who arrived in the country four days ago, was swimming at the Negril seven-mile beach when he was hit.

The operator of the Jet Ski fled the scene.

According to hoteliers, there was no ambulance available to take the tourist to the hospital and the police took a long time to response to the incident.

"Nothing is going to be done about either Jet Ski or horseback riding on the beach in Negril until somebody dies," a hotelier told The Gleaner.

Stakeholders have been calling for Minister of Tourism Dr Wykeham McNeill to implement some type of policy that would regulate the careless and reckless operations of Jet Skis in the tourist town.

Last October, the tourism minister announced a six-month suspension on the importation of all Jet Ski and personal watercraft for commercial purposes in response to an increase in accidents caused by operators of personal water craft.

McNeill also said then that there would be a clampdown on illegal commercial operators as well as a strengthening and enforcement of regulations guiding the safe use of Jet Skis.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, the Maritime Authority of Jamaica issued a statement urging owners and operators of Jet Skis to register.

It says arrangements can be made soon afterwards, to have The Authority's competent surveyors and marine inspectors carry out an inspection on the vessel at a suitable location.

Under the Shipping Act, the authority has legal obligations to ensure that all eligible marine vessels operating in Jamaican waters are registered, and to ensure that they operate in a manner that is safe and environmentally friendly.


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