Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour
Release Date:
Monday, 8 July 2019 - 4:40pm

Statement by Honourable Vincent Wheatley,
Minister for Natural Resources Labour and Immigration on
the Cane Garden Bay Swimming Area Situation

8th July, 2019

Greetings to the people of the Virgin Islands.  As you may be aware, the situation in Cane Garden Bay Tortola that involves Power Boaters infringing on the swimming area and anchoring their vessels on the shoreline has been a problem to the beach goers and the community. This occurrence is dangerous and is also a potentially fatal accident waiting to occur. The Government of the Virgin Islands has been working diligently to remedy this issue and I am proud to say that this problem will be no more by the beginning of August.

A contract has been signed on the 20th of June between the Government of the Virgin Islands and Commercial Dive Services Limited to supply and install a Swim Area and No Anchoring Markers Combination at Cane Garden Bay Beach. The contract was in the sum of $28,035 with a completion time of one month beginning on July 1st.

But beyond simply remedying a problem, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage persons to assist in the preservation of this investment. This is not the first time that a Swimming Area and No Anchoring Markers are being purchased and placed in Cane Garden Bay.  It has been brought to my attention that in the past, the previous markers were vandalised and eventually removed from the beach because some persons feel that boaters having full access to the beach is more important than the safety of the beach goers that may be present in the swimming area at any given time. These markers that are being installed have been reinforced and will be a lot more difficult for persons to remove without the proper machinery. In the interest of the Territory, I am asking persons to report anyone who they may find tampering with any of the equipment that is placed in not only the beaches, but in any public area for the safety of everyone so that those persons can be dealt with by the local authorities.