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UPDATE: Gov’t to consult with stakeholders on use of jet skis in VI– Premier

- reveals that policy on use already drafted by local Tourism Ministry
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), inset, says while the use of jet skis remains restricted in the [British] Virgin Islands, a draft policy for their use in the territory’s waters has been created ahead of a consultation process to decide the way forward. Photo:
Opposition Member Hon Stacy M. Mather (AL) is of the opinion that many entrepreneurs in the Virgin Islands are considering the use of jet skis as a viable business venture and personal recreational activity. Photo:
Opposition Member Hon Stacy M. Mather (AL) is of the opinion that many entrepreneurs in the Virgin Islands are considering the use of jet skis as a viable business venture and personal recreational activity. Photo:
Deputy Speaker and Territorial Member Honourable Stacy M. Mather (AL) wants to know if the VI Government is looking into addressing/lifting restrictions on the use of jet skis and what are the challenges to removing those restrictions. Photo: VINO/File
Deputy Speaker and Territorial Member Honourable Stacy M. Mather (AL) wants to know if the VI Government is looking into addressing/lifting restrictions on the use of jet skis and what are the challenges to removing those restrictions. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- While the use of jet skis remains restricted in the [British] Virgin Islands, a draft policy for their use in the territory’s waters has been created ahead of a consultation process to decide the way forward.

This is according to Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) in response to questioning from the Deputy Speaker and Opposition Member, Hon Stacy M. Mather (AL), during the Ninth Sitting of the First Session of the Fifth House of Assembly (HoA) on March 5, 2024.

Hon Mather had asked the Premier questions about the use of jet skis in the Virgin Islands and why are some persons allowed to own and operate versus others. 

Hon Mather further asked for the Government to identify and state any legislation or policy that speaks to the restricted use of jet skis in the territory for commercial and recreational use and whether the government is looking into addressing/lifting those restrictions.

Jet skis remain prohibited- Premier 

Premier Wheatley in his response said, “Madam Speaker, jet skis are listed as prohibited items for importation, in the External Trade Importation of Jet Skis Restriction Order Cap 288.”

He said the External Trade Ordinance restricts the importation of jet skis into the Virgin Islands, however, policies could be on the way to change that.

“Madam Speaker, a draft policy for the use of jet skis was developed and the Ministry of Tourism will consult various stakeholders on this policy and determine the way forward based on our discussions.”

Further, the Premier added that he expects that any potential challenges would be brought to his attention during the consultation process.

It remains unclear when the consultation process will start and who has been identified as stakeholders on the way forward. Hon Mather; however, thanked the Premier for the response and added that he is sure the public is grateful for the answer.  

See previous article published March 5, 2024

Opposition wants to know if Gov’t seeking to lift ban on jet skis in VI

The Ninth Sitting of the First Session of the Fifth House of Assembly (HoA) of the Virgin Islands (VI) is slated for 10:00 AM at the House of Assembly Chambers in Road Town today, March 5, 2024.

Close to 40 questions are to be asked of the elected government of Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) by Members of the Opposition.

‘An area of confusion’

One of those questions will be in relation to the use of jet skis in the Virgin Islands and will be posed by Deputy Speaker and Territorial Member Honourable Stacy M. Mather (AL).

According to the Order Paper, Hon Mather believes the topic of jet skis and why are some persons allowed to own and operate versus others in the territory has long been an area of confusion. Hon Mather is also of the opinion that many entrepreneurs are considering the use of jet skis as a viable business venture and personal recreational activity.

As a result, Hon Mather will ask the Honourable Premier and Minister of Finance to “(a) Identify and state any legislation or policy that speaks to the restricted use of jet skis in the territory for commercial and recreational use?; (b) Is your government looking into addressing/lifting those restrictions?; (c) What are the challenges, if any, with removing the restrictions?”


Meanwhile, the Premier and Minister of Finance is to move a motion for the Introduction and First Reading of the Bill entitled, “Beneficial Ownership Secure Search System (Amendment) Act 2023”.

Bills to get their Second and Third Readings include the “Register of Interest (Amendment) Bill, 2023”; “Property Tax (Amendment) Act 2023”; “Buildings (Amendment) Act, 2023”; and “Statistics (Amendment) Act, 2023”.

The sitting will be aired LIVE on House of Assembly VI Youtube; House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands Facebook; 780 AM ZBVI Radio; CBN-Radio (90.9 FM); FLOW TV Channel 101; and CCT TV Channel 291.

63 Responses to “UPDATE: Gov’t to consult with stakeholders on use of jet skis in VI– Premier”

  • (05/03/2024, 10:03) Like (7) Dislike (10) Reply
    Mather have woke up from his sleep
  • nope (05/03/2024, 10:05) Like (29) Dislike (23) Reply

    Just get rid of jet skis altogether. W*** trash entertainment in the floating trailer parks.

    • Yep (05/03/2024, 15:10) Like (28) Dislike (7) Reply
      I agree, get rid of them completely also get rid of the B---- trash entertainment, those motor scooters on the ghetto roads.
    • Madussa (07/03/2024, 20:53) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
      The jet skis kill so many unsuspecting fish and might kill snorklers and divers. We don't need to unleash this catastrophe waiting to happen. Find something else that is fun to do in the water without endangering nature and people.
  • about time (05/03/2024, 10:22) Like (4) Dislike (25) Reply
    • @about time (05/03/2024, 23:05) Like (29) Dislike (1) Reply
      We are/were Natures Little Secrets, so we don't need jet skis to ruin the tranquility of these beautiful islands.
    • To about time (07/03/2024, 12:11) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply
      When then, learn what your Tourism Product is.
      People don’t come for Jet Ski’s (they can do that in the States) they come for sailing in a beautiful unique place, with many islands. They come for peace. And tranquility. And beautiful turquoise water to swim, snorkel, sail. Relax.
      Jet ski’s make the
      Most god-awful sound…bring ‘em in and ruin the uniqueness of this place.
  • great (05/03/2024, 10:47) Like (38) Dislike (3) Reply
    The scooters aren't killing them fast enough. Bring on the big bad fast water toys, just what we need to compliment the beautiful yachts in the harbour.

    I personally don't have issues with jet skis but I think they need to be very careful with this and not use it as another vote pulling tool to get the young people support.
    • @great (05/03/2024, 11:28) Like (10) Dislike (43) Reply
      You can lose your life in a car accident. Why not ban motor vehicles also? Bring back the jet skis possibly implementing some regulations on the speed. The island is already extremely boring as is. Give the tourists and locals some action with this exciting activity
      • Look Chubble (05/03/2024, 13:12) Like (10) Dislike (10) Reply
        ban cars, truck, ferry. and feet also
      • @@great (05/03/2024, 14:34) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply

        You sound like an @$$%^&*. There is something called probability. If you were to hit a post head on doing 40mph which would you rather be in or on, a motorbike or an SUV? The scooters and jet skis are bad ideas for mainstream useage. Riding around Anegada on a scooter is a good idea. Having rules/regulations as to where jet skis are allowed would be a good idea. Having any and everyone with a jet ski to ride around as they please is a bad bad idea. Don't take my word for it.

      • @great (05/03/2024, 15:01) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
        This is a genuine question: How would you regulate/enforce the speed of a jetski?
        • @ @great (05/03/2024, 16:37) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
          Thank you for your question.
          Some models have inbuilt limiting mechanisms to prevent travelers from propelling water beyond certain speeds.
          Jet ski riders can be fined for excessive speed and driving in a dangerous manner. It actually is a law in many parts of the world today.
          • @@@great (05/03/2024, 16:58) Like (14) Dislike (2) Reply
            I would venture a guess that people wouldn’t pay any mind to such laws if they had them here. Just look at the young guys who drive the motor-scooters. They clearly could care less about the laws, or the safety of others, let alone themselves.
          • WOW (07/03/2024, 11:11) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
            It's also law to drive scooters with a license, insurance and inspection sticker, to wear a helmet, to drive at the speed limit, to NOT drive in-between traffic or undertake cars, to NOT do wheelies on public roads, to NOT talk on your phone while driving your scooter, to NOT ignore traffic lights, to NOT put other peoples lives in danger.
            All these offences are done every day in front of police so having regulations on jet skis will not do any good at all. The first child who dies when using one will be on the government's shoulders, KEEP THEM BANNED.
    • mega Yachts (05/03/2024, 15:34) Like (8) Dislike (12) Reply
      Many mega Yachts have thir own Jet Skis so i think this is not an issue of class , this is an enjoyable activity across all class , age and ethnic groups.
  • No!!! (05/03/2024, 12:29) Like (47) Dislike (4) Reply
    I used to live in the Bahamas for a while many years ago, & in just two years saw several serious accidents due to jet skis. Please, please, please do not allow this here. There will be deaths for sure.
  • alicia (05/03/2024, 12:29) Like (35) Dislike (2) Reply
    Allowing jet skis would be a huge mistake. These anchorages are already way too dangerous with racing powerboats and charterboats running their guests around in dinghies through the anchorages at full speed.
  • Hmm (05/03/2024, 12:34) Like (5) Dislike (9) Reply
    Please left it please I would feel so good having one just for a Sunday sail out
  • WO (05/03/2024, 12:36) Like (25) Dislike (5) Reply
    No to jet ski
  • peace (05/03/2024, 12:39) Like (32) Dislike (3) Reply
    Nevermind the safety and misuse issues jetskies are annoying and loud and disturb the peaceful tranquility of our natural harbors. Currently the BVI is largely a safe haven free of the obnoxious noise and annoyances jetskies bring. Please keep it this way
  • See (05/03/2024, 12:43) Like (37) Dislike (1) Reply
    You will kill a lot of the tourist industry by allowing jet skis . Dangerous and noisy anchorages so that a couple of people can make a buck . This place has enough problems already without bringing more . Know what makes this place special.
    • @see (05/03/2024, 17:05) Like (16) Dislike (2) Reply
      Sometimes I wonder if people know what makes this place special? I guess it’s hard for the younger folks, who are craving excitement and fast thrills. The motorized kind. And they certainly don’t realize that the tourists who come here are looking to escape the bright noise and big cities. They are looking for the beauty of nature, the sea (over and under) the tropical flowers, birds, sea creatures…and the freedom from having their ears assaulted by noises of traffic and mechanized sounds.
      Jet Ski’s would be the death of Nature’s Little Secrets.
  • PT09 (05/03/2024, 13:07) Like (18) Dislike (2) Reply
    The people who are operating Jet Skies rental have the Grandfather clause that should be enough. If you want to rent a Jet Ski go to Cane Garden Bay. Tourist feels safer without a bunch of Jet Skies running around while they are trying to have a swim or a sea soak. Jet Skies are dangerous in the wrong people hands. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THE BAND OFF IF YOU KNOW WHATS GOOD FOR THE TOURIST BUSINESS. Where ever most these of tourist comes from then I am sure some of them have jet Skies if that’s what they like and if they don’t own they can rent.
  • resident (05/03/2024, 13:21) Like (24) Dislike (1) Reply
    The rules should be the same for everyone. Jet skis were banned years ago. I thought the people who owned them could use them until they wore out.

    There are plenty of quiet, safe business opportunities that respect nature. Examples are kayak tours of the mangroves, hiking to the top of Beef Island. E-foils are quiet and non-polluting.

    Stop seeking the lowest common denominator.
  • stinky (05/03/2024, 13:35) Like (25) Dislike (2) Reply
    Please ban this obnoxious machines.
  • Tell you what… (05/03/2024, 13:39) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    First show we can control the scooters before taking a much more difficult task of controlling young hot heads on jet skis
  • Well saw. (05/03/2024, 14:27) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    We have enough problems and accidents with skooters on land now we going take it to the Sea...This opposition many things to address..Govt building, rental expenditure, Roads, water, food, high cost of living, minimum wages...Talking about minimum wage a lady should not be going home with less than $400.00 a week..A good living wage in the BVI should be $10.50 per hr..minimum.
  • jack@$$ (05/03/2024, 14:42) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    One thing about this place, every 4yrs we have the same debates and nothing ever happens. This is Not a progressive place.

  • BUSY BEE (05/03/2024, 15:12) Like (23) Dislike (4) Reply
    Great! Just what we need... Scooter gangs in the anchorages. Local go-fasts already ignore the speed limits in swim areas and the anchorages, so let's add the water-borne scooter terrorists to the mix too.
    Please Please Please!
    Do Not Legalise These Menaces!
  • WEW (05/03/2024, 15:15) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply
    If they do approve jet skis, will they enforce laws for them like they enforce traffic laws on scooters ?
  • too much (05/03/2024, 15:16) Like (30) Dislike (3) Reply
    Captains in the BVI kill and injury too many people swimming or on other boats as it is, idiots doing 30pm on jet ski's will only kill more. Thy are noisy and dangerous. The harm and disruption they do to the aquatic life which most tourist come her for is enormous. Greed is the only reason some people want them. Most tourists to NOT want them, it will deter them from coming here.
  • kpt (05/03/2024, 15:18) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    Mather is pushing for the young people votes
  • tola (05/03/2024, 15:18) Like (5) Dislike (19) Reply
    Can’t wait for all the older people to leave so the new generation can upgrade the place tola is very boring for such a beautiful place
  • tola (05/03/2024, 15:30) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Nothing with a is engine safe BVI
  • Hospital (05/03/2024, 15:46) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    When you improve your hospital and health care system then and only they you can approve anything.
  • just say no (05/03/2024, 16:57) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    Say no to Jet Skiis, we do not need the obnoxious noise pollution. This will just chase more yacht charterers away....
  • What? (05/03/2024, 18:59) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    Keep their ban. Jetsjis is the moist annoying watereport. Loud, fast & dangerous.
  • Bad Idea (05/03/2024, 22:01) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
    Just a faster way to move around drugs. Could you imagine 50+ jet ski heading into your direction after some LIT event???! Unfortunately we have more reckless vs none reckless people.
  • Lb (06/03/2024, 04:43) Like (2) Dislike (6) Reply
    What happened when NDP bowed to pressure from young people to get scooters? They even tried to regulate by saying no bikes bigger than 125 cc! What happened? They modified the scooters to make more noise and to be faster. They start getting killed and body parts chopped off in accidents. They used them for drivebys shootings and robberies. They have become a nuisance and not worth lifting that ban.

    Now you want to negatively affect tourism? You can’t regulate it at all! You would need an army of marine police also on Jet Skis to fine and arrest people who will come in to swim areas and beaches where animals nest just to “show off” and end up chasing tourists away from BVI. People WILL die from these jet skis. More drugs will run with these jet skis. You will not be able to regulate it.

    Keep the ban and only put for a few businesses on each island with a limit of how many skis each business can have for rent. Hold the businesses responsible and fine them heavy for renter’s bad riding, so they can hold their own customers responsible. Create zones for jet skis to be used in. Limit the engine/propulsion size of all jet skis. This way people can still pay to enjoy them but in a safe way and in a way that we do not lose tourists as a result of the noise and reckless behavior.
  • No (06/03/2024, 05:49) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    No jet skis pls
  • Hard stop NO (06/03/2024, 07:20) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    These people that are making the rules have never owned their own boat. Jet Ski are bad for the BVI.
    Number 1 - the people that drive them have NO idea what the rules of boating are. In North Sound they drive within 10' of my anchored boat while swimmers are in the water and race along the shore where snorkeling is happening. Have also seen some close calls with kite boards.
    Number 2 - these new Jet Skis are getting more powerful and now can excelerate faster than any boat. There has never been adequate boater safety training in the BVI. At least they should limit the horsepower that can be imported.
    Number 3 - avoiding the Police! The BVI police are so poorly equipped when it comes to boats and trying to control drugs and illegal immigrants already. These inexpensive Jet skis are going to run circles around our police/immigration boys.
    • @ Hard Stop No (07/03/2024, 16:43) Like (0) Dislike (7) Reply
      Do you have warnif buoys out when you have swimmers where you anchor? Are these PWC allowed to traverse outside of a demarcated zone? With progress and change comes those that want to maintain the status quo’s that have since gone the way of the dinosaurs. Get a grip. Those of us born post 1970’ate tired of the arcane laws that prohibit free enterprise. We all don’t want to work all our days for pittances at the expense of attaining our own financial interests. Half ayo go abroad and enjoy the same pastimes and then come back and moan - GTFOH!
      • The REAL rules of the road (08/03/2024, 08:47) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        You are ignorant to the law. That is no excuse when someone is hurt by a boat.
        LAW 1 - no wake in a MAPED ANCHORAGE. It is illegal everywhere.
        LAW 2 - No wake zone within mooring fields
        LAW 3 - Stay within marked channels (when they are marked)
        LAW 4 - kill cords MUST be used on watercraft where provided.
  • Island Son (06/03/2024, 11:08) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    whats the difference between Jet Skis and the motor cycles? Nothing. If we do not enforce regulations and rules they are both death machines.
  • Exception (07/03/2024, 10:02) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
    The only persons qualified to operate jet skis in BVI waters should be members of the active VISAR crew to assist in search and rescue shouts. NO PUBLIC USE OF JET SKIS IN THE BVI!!!!!
  • hell no! (07/03/2024, 10:02) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
  • warning (07/03/2024, 10:06) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Jet Skis? (07/03/2024, 10:13) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
    What's the problem here? They're a jet ski business on Virgin Gorda for years. Did they get a license before the ban?
  • (07/03/2024, 10:16) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    With the tourist industry a lot more can be done when it comes to water sports…yes they going have a lot of debate about jet skis…the reefs, the criminals, safety and so on..

    But have you ever realize I. The bvi you don’t need a license or even take a course to own and sail a boat…

    Fix the system from the bottom come up
  • lodger (07/03/2024, 11:05) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    Nobody mentioned that buying them would be another form of drug money laundering.
    Why is it that other countries seem to allow them, albeit with rules and regulations? Its because their citizens are 90% law abiding, unlike here. Its because of our experience with motorbikes that we know our youths are completely unmanageable and ignore laws with impunity. They seem to have money to buy these things. If importation was restricted to bona fide registered hire firms, then the youth would have to pay to use them, and be bound by insurance etc.
    How long before we become another Haiti?
  • careful (07/03/2024, 11:06) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well... if the Jet sky are gonna be like the big boats are in the White Bay beach....Lord Have Mercy
  • making sense (07/03/2024, 15:16) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Security and Policing is being the biggest issue in the little island. I’ve been to bigger countries where Tint, Bikes, Jet Ski and other Things are controlled.. and it just don’t make no sense that we living in a Caribbean island and I’m Not allowed to have darker tint to prevent the sun from burning me inside my vehicle.. the Issue is that there’s not enough police patrolling and I applaud Mr Glen Callwood.. we need more officers like him who actually taking their jobs seriously
  • reality (07/03/2024, 15:43) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    now i would like to own a jets for my own use but rental of these machines and others running about in anchorages and creating noise means i accept that i cant have one, just like i can't ride a 1000cc motorbike and no i dont ride a pathetic hairdryer
  • mad max (07/03/2024, 15:46) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Imagine 100 jet skis rafted up on the Willy T. Drunk riders jumping on after a night on the rum and weed. Go for it.
  • Chris (07/03/2024, 17:17) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    We have jet ski s at Leverick bay and you don’t hear them from about 50ft away in the restaurant. The old type we’re noisy but the new ones are very quiet and safe .
    • Chris (08/03/2024, 08:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      True - but when they run full out through your mooring fields and don't obey any marine safety laws, someone is eventualy going to get hurt. And the fact that they are quiet is not going to be a factor.
  • Hmm (07/03/2024, 18:05) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sounds like a pre-election hype talking point just likewhen they started talking bout legalizing cannabis but after election went dead quiet.
  • WTF (07/03/2024, 22:59) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    With the current leadership at VISR, licensing the jetski would cost more than the jetski.
  • Kaloni (08/03/2024, 00:25) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I agree but also dis agree.....if a thief get a whole on one yhr thief will go round n rob tourists
  • We good (08/03/2024, 08:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    We have some at CGB - let's keep it there and maintain the unique aspects of the other beaches and islands. We don't need to be another Wal-Mart tourist destination.
  • ... (08/03/2024, 10:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    No jet skis. That would kill many safer water sports with jet skis skipping around.

    Plus the water that comes out of the jet ski can go up a persons ax and kill them. The potential for this will suddenly go from around 0.0% currently to 99.99% chance over time.

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