MARINE ASSOCIATION   OF THE BVI EST. 1996

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  • Thursday, February 25, 2021 13:34 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

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    BVI SEAPORT REOPENING DELAYED AGAIN; CHAIRMAN OF MARINE ASSOCIATION & OPPOSITION LEADER SPEAK OUT!

    FEBRUARY 25, 2021 | 1:34 PM

    BY JOVAN WILSON

      

    The reopening of seaports been delayed to April 15th according to a statement released by the BVI Ports Authority, sending outrage throughout the marine community.

    The BVIPA listed these four reasons to substantiate the delay;

    i. that islands within the region have reported increased numbers of COVID-19 cases;

    ii. the increased possibility of the introduction of variant strains from international travelers;

    iii. due to the demands of the roll-out of the vaccines and the need to ensure a large percent of the local population is vaccinated, the health personnel normally needed to assist in monitoring procedures at the entry portal is significantly stretched and as such the efficiency to monitor the opening is challenged; and

    iv. to enhance the customer experience through further infrastructural improvements at the Road Town Jetty and other ports of entry in light of COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

    The Road Town Jetty and other seaports were initially scheduled to reopen on March 1stafter being closed for almost a year.

    Leader of the Opposition Marlon Penn has since said that not only does the Government lack a thorough plan to effectively manage the reopening of the seaports but there is also lack of transparency.

    Opposition Leader- Honorable Marlon Penn

    The Leader of the Opposition said, “The Government first announced a reopening date for our seaports of December 8. The reopening was delayed to January 21, and then a further delay of March 1 was announced. However, as the March 1 deadline is drawing near, we are now receiving reports that the reopening has a further delay of April 15. To date, we have not received any updates or any information on the progress, processes and/or logistics of how the reopening of the ports will be managed; leaving us to infer that a reopening in the near future may not be forthcoming,” the Opposition leader stated.

    Honourable Penn expressed that the previous two postponements, followed by a third postponement; i.e. the constant false start of the reopening of our seaports stem from this Administration’s lack of planning, lack of leadership and reflects poorly on BVI and damages our global image.

    Since the announcement there has been lots of outrage within the marine community and tourists who frequent the islands via the sea.

    Chairman of Marine Association- Andrew Ball

    Andrew Ball,  Chairman of the Marine Association said the delay is disappointing. Mr. Ball said “It is very disappointing that there has not been engagement with stakeholders on this matter. Whilst the decision not to open the seaports itself is saddening, what is most discouraging is the late notice. Businesses and investors have been unable to plan effectively because they have not been privy to the public sector’s plan. This has led to a significant loss in investor confidence which will affect us in the long term, outlasting the COVID pandemic. In the short term this will cause more businesses to close, and further loss of employment. To be clear, the lack of coordination is arguably more damaging than the failure to open on its own.”

    The BVIPA’s update was sent out via email at 8:42pm on Wednesday evening.

  • Thursday, February 25, 2021 10:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

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    Tortola, British Virgin Islands – February 25, 2021 – The 49th BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, which was scheduled for March 29 to April 4, 2021, has been postponed until 2022 following deep consideration by all entities involved. The BVI Spring Regatta Committee, after discussions with the BVI Government Ministry of Health, concluded that the postponement was in the best interests for the safety of all participants, volunteers, and the wider BVI community.

    Following in the steps of many of the major Caribbean regattas that have also been postponed, the Spring Regatta was anticipating offering world class racing and camaraderie for all participants.

     

    “As much as we would have loved to welcome everyone back to the BVI, the most important factors are health and safety for all,” Judy Petz, Regatta Director, stated.  “Our international participants understand the situation and are already planning for the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival in March 2022.”

    The postponement of the event is a financial blow to the non-profit entity which organizes this internationally respected sailing event, as well as to the BVI community, which typically enjoys a positive economic impact from the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival of approximately $4 million each year. This loss to the local economy these past two years due to the pandemic has been devastating, particularly to the yachting sector. 

     

    The regatta committee would also like to thank all of our sponsors during these unpredictable times.  Their continued support enables us to move forward and take the event to an even higher level of racing and participation.   The committee would also like to extend a thank you to the participants who had planned to attend.

    “We hope that as Covid-19 vaccination programs progress and international travel restrictions are lifted that it will become safer for people to travel and participate in events like ours,” Petz continued. “We look forward to making next year a terrific event, one that all of our participants, sponsors and the community can look forward to.” 

  • Wednesday, February 24, 2021 14:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Following elections at the 2021 Annual General Meeting, held on Wednesday February 24th, 2020 via Zoom, new Directors have been elected as follows:

    Chairperson: Andrew Ball, Caribbean Marine Surveyors
    Vice Chairperson: Peter Twist, Conch Charters
    Past Chairperson: Sam Welch, Retired
    Secretary: Janet Oliver, BVI Charter Yacht Society
    Treasurer: Todd Paterson, B&G Yacht Management
    Bareboat Sector Representative: Barney Crook, TMM Charters
    Crewed Yachts Sector Representative: Janet Oliver, BVI Charter Yacht Society
    Marine Services Sector Representative: Miles Sutherland Pilch, Nanny Cay
    Associate Members Representative: Julien Johnson, Island Time
    Education & Employment Representative: Matt Holt, HLSCC

    We thank the 2020 Board of Directors for their service.

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The Marine Association of the BVI is a non-profit organization registered in the BVI. PO Box 3042, Road Town, Tortola VG1110

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