The U.S. Coast Guard has notified island boat captains they can no longer pick up tourists at the Westin’s beach, the National Park Service dock or the dock at "The Creek" for day sails to Jost Van Dyke and Tortola.
The BVI Captains Log Blog reported 33 captains of boats that carry 12 or more people received a letter advising them they cannot use those spots to pick up passengers. Read the letter here.
The letter reminded the Captains to use authorized "secure" facilities to pick up and discharge passengers. On St. John, those are the Enighed marine terminal (the car barge dock), the dock at the Westin, the dock at Caneel Bay and the London Boynes Marine Facility. The letter appears to be a reminder that Captains should pick up charter passengers only from the authorized docks and not the beaches.
"This is happening because the National Park and Port Authority docks are no longer secured for Homeland Security," the blog’s author wrote. "They dropped the security. Without these docks being secured the St. John tourists cannot take these excursions to the BVI’s."
Gorgeous photo of Jost van Dyke, from St. John, by Steven House via Flickr.
10 thoughts on ““Insecure” day sails to BVI in jeopardy”
Are there other docks in the area? This is very sad for business and general tourism. Can the businesses pitch in for a security person? I guess it will keep some tourism dollars in USVI.
That’s okay! We’ll just swim from the dock to the boat. We’ll board the old fashion way!
We always do some sort of excursion to the BVI. That really stinks for people visiting the island AND the businesses that offer these day trips.
So does the boat have to just hold 12 people, or can they hold 12 and take 10? Sounds dumb, but we really enjoyed our trip last summer, and only 9 were on the boat. It could probably have held 12 – 14. I was COUNTING on doing this again in June 🙁
This is a really unfortunate development. We always look forward to a BVI excursion. Presumably, you can still do them out of Red Hook, but that will add a lot of time to the trip. Frank, who do we need to petition to get this lousy decision reversed?
The notice came from:
United States Coast Guard
Marine Safety Detachment
St. Thomas, USVI 00804
Fax 340 774-1687
The way I read this, it’s only BVI boats that won’t be allowed to come make pickups — this notice won’t affect U.S. registered boats. If so, it’s hardly the end of the excursions, just unfortunate for BVI tour operators and fortunate for USVI ones. Can anyone confirm?
There are many boats already within compliance, so no panicking folks. A lot of easily disappointed people read your paper Frank, but give them ease as very little tends to change around here, even if policies seem to a lot. Plus, there are so many amazing destinations within the USVI that I try to get my guests to go to, rather than trucking through paperwork just to drink or snorkel 5 miles away.
St John is still the most fun destination, no worries
I wonder if the ferry boats going to the BVI that are SOLAS certified and inspected to carry more than 12 passengers are going to be stopped from making pickups as well. I wouldn’t worry too much about it, a solution will be worked out soon enough.
This is just wrong. What are they afraid of? Terrorists coming to STJ… ? that is just stupid.
We are Westin Timeshare Owners – looks like no more day trips to the BVIs for us.
PS – our 2006 taxes doubled from 2005 – sweet… mfers