SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) – Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard units routinely patrol the waters of St. Maarten and at the bays and around coast lines in keeping with our responsibility for patrol and controls at sea, the coast guard said in a statement on Friday.
“These patrols will be carried out frequently to control vessels on the COVID-19 measures for visiting vessels, social distancing, exceeding maximum persons on board of a vessel, valid shipping documents and also speargun fishing.
“During these inspections vessels of which the captain does not have the correct shipping documents on board are subject to fining. Therefore, the Coast Guard urges all captains to have their shipping documents with them and that passengers on board maintain themselves to the COVID-19 measures.
“Vessels must at all times adhere to the number of persons on board as indicated on their registration documentation. The Coast Guard also reminds fishermen that fishing with a speargun is not allowed by law.
“The speargun will be confiscated and the fishermen can receive a fine. The Coast Guard also urges all boat owners to service their vessel regularly. Make sure you have enough safety equipment on board to ensure the safety of life at sea, such as: life jackets, flashlight, first aid kit, enough water, fire extinguisher, VHF radio or charged mobile phone.
“Avoid dangerous situations at sea with your boat. In situation that assistance is needed, Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard alarm number is 913. The Coast Guard wishes you a pleasant and safe maritime experience.”