The Ministry of Tourism, Investments, and Aviation with the U.S. Embassy hosted the first Cruise Ship Symposium on Friday, December 1.
The symposium brought together cruise ship industry experts, emergency service providers, the Government of The Bahamas, and the U.S. Embassy to foster relationships and discuss response protocols for emergencies faced by U.S. citizen cruise ship passengers.
Sessions focused on passenger arrest, U.S. Coast Guard evacuation and rescues, medical emergencies, and deaths of cruise ship passengers.
This year, over 7.52 million tourists have visited The Bahamas; 6.2 million arrived by sea.
“U.S. Embassies around the world serve no greater purpose than protecting our citizens. We appreciate our host nation’s support as we work daily to fulfill this mission,” said U.S. Embassy Chargé Usha Pitts in her remarks at the one-day event.
“Whether deaths, accidents, hospitalizations, or emergency repatriations, we respond best when working together,” explained Jennifer Terry, the U.S. Embassy’s FBI Attaché. Terry went on to emphasize the importance of coordinating with the Government of The Bahamas, law enforcement partners, and the cruise ship industry to ensure the safety and well-being of all U.S. citizens traveling abroad.
Ministry of Tourism Director, Cruise and Maritime Facilitation, Robert Sands II said the conclave comes at an opportune time. “The government understands the importance of partnership in the successful execution of port initiatives and embraces this opportunity to cohost this symposium, which is being staged when our cruise arrival numbers are at their highest.”