Safehaven captains evicted
(CNS): The Port Authority has now issued an eviction notice effective from Friday evening (24 August) to the remaining boat captains and tour operators who still have boats moored at the Safehaven site, as developer Michael Ryan begins work on a new marina. Although several captains have raised concerns about the temporary location, the legality of the deal between Ryan and government, as well as the size of the new facility now being constructed, the Port Authority posted notices on cars and around the old site on Friday telling the captains they must move their boats or face legal action.
Several captains had remained at the site since a notice was posted in the local press and on at the old marina by the developer as they had a number of concerns.
In the first instance, they believed that the temporary site would not be able to accommodate all of the boats and the turning circle is too small for some vessels.
Secondly, there are concerns that there are no guarantees that the developer will complete the new public marina as promised, leaving them with nowhere to dock.
Thirdly, the original deal with the developer was between Fujigmo Ltd & Cesar Hotelco (Cayman) Ltd and the Port Authority. The captains say that the first company does not appear to be registered in Cayman and that Cesar is now owned by receivers as it was one of the firms owned by Ryan involved in the development of the Ritz-Carlton.
As a result, the captains question the legality of the entire deal, which was related to Ryan’s proposed development of Dragon Bay that involved government giving Ryan’s companies fill from the site, the excavation of canals for the hotel access and land swaps on Port Authority property in return for the development of a replacement public marina in which local operators could moor their vessels.
The majority of the local captains say they have been concerned that the marina would never materialise and if it does, based on the current plans, it would not be suitable.
However, last week Ryan began work at the site while several of the operators were still moored there and before the captains had received notice from the port. A number of captains did however choose to sign new licence agreements with Ryan and move to the temporary site.
On Friday the port issue a notice to those remaining captains stating that their concerns had been addressed and that there was still room at one of two temporary sites where the captains could move their vessels.
“The Authority believes that the current arrangements address the perceived concerns of those water sports operators who believe they may be negatively affected by the construction of the Proposed Marina, after having explored the legally remaining options with DBL. The Authority believes that all reasonable concerns have now been dealt with,” port officials said in a notice of eviction.
The port also believes that the deal is legal as Fujigmo Limited is now Dragon Bay Limited, which is a registered company of good standing and the company which is leasing the Port Authority land. The officials said the remaining boat operators needed to leave as they were now an impediment to the development of the new marina.
“With appropriate notifications having been posted on the Old Site since 13 August and published in the local newspaper, construction on the Proposed Marina is already underway, with major earthworks, including the use of demolitions to excavate the marina basin, scheduled to commence imminently,” the port stated.
“However, the continued presence of the remaining vessels on the Old Site, which now comprises property held by DBL … but also Authority property, have become an unlawful impediment to DBL's performance of its obligations under the Agreement resulting in considerable delay to the further progress of the Proposed Marina. Further, the Authority is becoming increasingly concerned for the safety of the public, including the visitors to the Island being catered to by the remaining tour operators who are being loaded and unloaded in what is becoming a hazardous construction site.”
Port officials added that owners of the boats still at the old site must move them to the interim sites provided or elsewhere, otherwise it would be considering all remedies available including legal proceedings.
After the notice was posted around the old Safehaven marina on Friday, North Side MLA Ezzard Miller encouraged the captains to remain at the old site until the legal issues and other problems were addressed as he still had real concerns about their rights. He said that he had approached the Attorney General’s Chambers for assistance in relation to the problems and had been asked to submit his concerns in writing, which he said he intended to do.
“The problem is that the process is not being properly followed here and the captains have a right to be concerned as there are no guarantees for their future and their livelihood is at stake,” he added.
On Saturday seven of the operators who have been using the site for more than 20 years remained at the old Safehaven dock. After contractors at the site cemented the gate closed and advised by their lawyer to stay, one of the captains told CNS that they would now have to swim to get to their boats.
See notice issued to captains below.
|Port Authority of the Cayman Islands - Letter to Safehaven Watersports Operators - 24 Aug 2012 (1).PDF||66.62 KB|
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