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John Lewis slams lack of safety @ Poker Run

- angry caller hurls expletive @ panel of Speak Your Mind
Co-hosts of the television talk show Speak Your Mind, Mr John Lewis (left) and Mr Bevin S. George (right). Photo: VINO
John Lewis said that persons standing in fast power boats during Poker Run presented a danger. Photo: Mikhail Mohamed
John Lewis said that persons standing in fast power boats during Poker Run presented a danger. Photo: Mikhail Mohamed
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Mr John Lewis has slammed what he has described as reckless behaviour during this year's Leverick Bay Poker Run which took place on Sunday May 29, 2016.

He was sharing a panel with Mr Bevin S. George on the television talk show ‘Speak Your Mind’ aired on Saturday June 4, 2016 on JTV Live Channel 55.

“Somebody will get hurt eventually,” said Lewis of the Poker Run.

He noted that while the event was going on there was a squal, “and just imagine what would have happened if one had to make a sharp deviation to the right or to the left, and you got thrown off that boat and you are not a swimmer and there are other boats coming at you. What happens?”

He said persons need to be seriously concerned about the enforcement of safety.

Noting that the event is getting bigger and bigger every year, Mr Lewis argued that with the increase in participants comes the increase in the chances of something bad happening.

According to Lewis, he has observed persons not wearing the requisite personal safety devices or floatation devices.

He said accidents happen where these safety precautions are not observed and there is alcohol involved.

Painting a scenario, Mr Lewis explained that if perchance a boat has to make a sudden swerve to the left or right and persons inside that boat are standing and holding on to absolutely nothing, it will be likely that they are thrown from the boat into the water.

Safety talk upsets caller

At this point a member of the public called in to the programme and was seemingly upset with the information that Mr Lewis was seeking to give members of the public regarding safety at Poker Run.

The man asked why the need for seat belts in powerboats when the same is not required for party boats.

Lewis then informed him that the party boats are not likely to be travelling at 50 knots.

“Partner if ayo ain't got nothing to talk come off the f--king radio!” the caller said angrily.

Apologising for the caller's use of foul language, Lewis said that all that the show was trying to do was to ensure that the Poker Run is done in a safe manner given the dangers.

Lewis said that as the event gets bigger there should be more enforcement of the simple safety rules governing the activity.

“I'm hoping that the general public appreciates that safety comes first. If you get into your car you have to put on your seat belt. You may not like it but it is safety,” he said.

While these observations were made by Lewis, there has been no report of mishaps for this year's Leverick Bay Poker Run.

16 Responses to “John Lewis slams lack of safety @ Poker Run”

  • Really!! (06/06/2016, 07:37) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
    This man finds fault in everything.

    Not saying the persons on the sea dont need to follow safety rules but dont single out the poker run as if it only occurs at this event. This is not fair to the many patrons or sponsors who look forward to enjoying this day with friends and family in our BVI waters.
    • @Really!! (06/06/2016, 11:40) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
      When there is a larger gathering of people than usual the risks involved further increase. It is similar to festival village and new years eve at foxy's. Nobody is saying anything about stopping fun. But safe fun is better.
  • Let them (06/06/2016, 08:04) Like (21) Dislike (6) Reply
    If someone wants to get angry about interest shown in the safety of the public and the event's participants then let him/her injure/kill him/herself. It's like a disease we have where we are unable to take caution BEFORE something tragic happens... but as soon as something does, we remember all that should have and could have been done. It's very sad and stupid. I remember when a particular boat ran a rock on the north side of vg.... and two persons were killed and a drunk captain was said to be responsible. EVERYONE knew then that one should not captain a boat under the influence; But I still see it done All the time here. Nobody is trying to stop your fun... just trying to make sure you are alive when it's all over.
  • wize up (06/06/2016, 08:28) Like (3) Dislike (5) Reply
    whatever man!!!!!
  • Yes (06/06/2016, 08:50) Like (2) Dislike (14) Reply
    poor falla just mad he could not fit on a boat lol
  • Poker Run Participant (06/06/2016, 09:20) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    What Mr Lewis need to say is that there are people operating boats in during
    the Poker Run that are operating wreckless endangering the lives of others.

    The Poker Run has no control over any one who put their boat in the water that
    day and follow the participating boats.

    Police Marine Units are responsible saftey in our waters, NOT the Poker Run Organization.
    If Police marine Unit see a 12 feet boat out there with 20 people onboard, do you want them to
    contact the Poker Run Organization? Mr. Lewis needs to get his facts straight before making a fool
    of him self.
    • Really? (09/06/2016, 08:57) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Er...marine police is responsible for safety...WRONG! Vessel operators are responsible for the safety of crew and passengers aboard the vessel they are operating. Just like with cars.
  • Scary Mary (06/06/2016, 10:58) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr. Lewis has a point, but so do others that have made comments. There were lots of boats not participating in the actual Poker Run who joined in and followed the crowd to the various venues. I know because I was in one of the "tag along" boats.

    It is a responsibility of each boat operator to ensure the safety of all those aboard, but the onus is on the organizers of such events to stress the importance of safety at all times. Tight clusters of boats traveling at high speeds present a major danger to anyone who may be bounced overboard by a wave. In the scenario he described, a person would not have a very good chance of survival.

    Perhaps Mr. Lewis could put together a list of suggestions for the committee in charge of the Poker Run as to how they might beef up the safety aspects of this very fun event?

    Wearing PFD's throughout the race is not likely to go over well with adults, particularly for those on larger yachts with high freeboard. I do agree it should be a requirement for the "go fast" type boats. Seat belts, however, are a really bad idea. If a boat hit a wave the wrong way and capsized, the chance of drowning would increase drastically. If anyone was knocked unconscious when the boat flipped, that would the end.

    Nobody should be standing in any boat traveling at a high rate of speed.
  • IDC (06/06/2016, 12:36) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    Mr. Lewis I say shut it & by ALLLLLL means let them travel at high rates of speed and please NO LIFE JACKETS who wants to mess up their wardrobe. The life jackets might not match the color scheme. Oh wait who ever starts the Poker Run operating their boat on LIQUOR, WEED, COKE most on all of them. I say it is their right plus you don't think fish got to eat too? If they die they die no one really cares except family, we don't.
  • The Wise (06/06/2016, 13:33) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Prevention is better than cure!!! Do not wait until its your family or friend to get hurt badly or even dead to say this man words make scene. its not like mr lewis is trying to ban poker run. open your eyes people GEEEZZ
  • tretretrete (06/06/2016, 15:22) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    Is speak your mind still a talk show or it has turned into a poppy show? What John and Bevin could really tell anybody?
  • safety first (06/06/2016, 16:47) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    The politician from the 8igth was in a poker accident years ago...why don't he suggest something in the house?
  • Pokerruner (06/06/2016, 22:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I have been to a number of poker runs in the states and what Mr. Lewis is talking about is something that needs to be looked into. Life jackets needs to be mandatory on every boat but keep in mind not everyone you see in the poker run actually take part or a registered participant. My personal opinion is the Police, Visar and the organizers needs to take ownership of this event as it relates to the safety aspect.

    Rules needs to be enforced because I can tell you an accident at those speeds will not result in a break hand or leg it is usually bodies you will be pulling out of the water, trust me I have seen it right in front of my eyes. This event will only get bigger and they are getting more popular around the world because it is a way to bring in more tourist dollars. But something needs to be done fast before something seriously happen because that alone will put a dark cloud over this event if we want to attract those big spenders from Florida who has now show interest in coming down with their boats and families for this event.

  • shark (06/06/2016, 22:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Safety first.the ocean has no trees to hold on too.
  • Young Logic (08/06/2016, 13:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    One of the things I despise about my own people is our inability to comprehend a concern that in my opinion is a simple fix, ofcourse with a little tweaking but non the less easy to do. We get so defensive when our fun is threatened but when unfortunate things happen we're the first to point out faults in the system. Why do we only consider the 'NOW'? I can't understand. We assume if anything bad happens it probably wouldn't be us but we should never be selfish when it comes to something like safety. I may not agree with his solution but the topic is worth a look.

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