Wednesday, January 30, 2008

St Maarten Dinghies

Earlier this month (January 2008) there was a fatal, night-time dinghy accident in the Lagoon over by the French bridge (two dinghies). We've been told that since then that the Sint Maarten Coast Guard has been requiring that dinghies need to have a life jacket for each passenger, an anchor, oars, and an all-around white light (or maybe you can squeak by with a flashlight).

The Coast Guard does not display navigation lights on their dinghies so be careful. We spotted them one night just inside the bridge waiting for non-compliant vessels. Two nights ago I heard voices at about 2a.m. and they had stopped a couple in their dinghy and were by the sand barges. Afterwards, when the dinghy passed by our boat I heard the couple say something about flashlights. They didn't appear to have one...

Also, there are some new buoys in the Lagoon so be very careful, especially watch out for the half-sunken ones at night.

You've been warned :)