“Hot Gal 4” boat ride comes under fire once again
April 5, 2013

“Hot Gal 4” boat ride comes under fire once again

Despite having taken measures to prevent disorderly conduct on his boat ride, patrons of the “Hot Gal 4” boat ride and its promoter, Regis Splectron, have once again come under fire.{{more}}

Herman Belmar, Deputy Director for Grenadines Affairs, in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday, described the behaviour displayed by some who visited Bequia on Sunday, as part of the excursion, as “crude and distasteful”.

“It happened last year and it happened worse this year, in that a lot of the people were so drunk when they arrived here, they totally didn’t know what they were doing,” Belmar said.

He said that he saw people fall into dirty drains and others sleeping on the hot pavement, half way along the way to Lower Bay.

“It means that they arrived here in a state of drunkenness that they don’t know what they are doing,” the deputy director said.

He complained that some persons coming from the mainland would often “storm” taxis, often blocking the vehicles’ paths and then forcing their entry into the vehicle.

Belmar added that some would enter the vehicle and then when they get halfway to Lower Bay, they would exit the vehicle without paying.

“So, the vast majority of the vehicles would not take them,” Belmar said.

“In any case, who would carry anybody who so drunk that they vomiting all over themselves in their private vehicle?”

Belmar also complained about the attire of some of the females who visited the island.

“No carnival costume can be as revealing and when it gets wet, it gets worse,” he said.

“This type of behaviour is revolting and will drive tourism out of the Grenadines,” Belmar told SEARCHLIGHT.

There were those who came down to enjoy and have a good time, however, Belmar explained that the locals will tell you that the majority of the ones causing the havoc are those who come in on the excursions.

“If you are having a block-o on the boat, what do you expect is going to happen?” Belmar questioned.

He is of the opinion that the average Vincentian could not get that intoxicated in the hour or so it takes the ferry to travel from Kingstown to Bequia. He believes many patrons started drinking long before boarding the vessel.

“So that when they get to Bequia they so far gone, they don’t know themselves.”

This sort of behaviour does not paint a very good picture of us as a people, however, he added.

Junior Sutton, chairman of the Show Activities Committee for the Bequia Easter Regatta, said that he is in full support of Belmar’s comments.

“It is hard to tell where the buck stops – to me the buck stops with the promoter,” Sutton said.

“You don’t just have an event and have intoxicated people – it doesn’t matter if it’s on an inhabited or uninhabited island, there is bound to be chaos, because there is nothing organized for those people,” he added.

“When they step off the boat, you are unleashing people in a state that nobody on the island is prepared for and to me that is just lawlessness.”

Sutton told SEARCHLIGHT that he had witnessed a group of people verbally abuse a taxi operator who was making his way to church and refused to give them a ride.

The individuals from the “Hot Gal 4” boat ride were identified by their white attire, which was the theme of the Splectron Easter Sunday excursion. There was another excursion to Bequia from the Leeward side of the island.

Sutton said that some of those who come down on the excursions urinate in public areas, and he had an experience this year, where someone defecated in a temporary shed he had built to house a bar for one of the activities.

Sutton said that there were also reports of fights, with some walking away with minor injuries and some instances of reported attempted rapes.

He said that he has nothing against excursions, nor does he have anything against the promoter, but he (Splectron) ought to be more responsible and professional.

According to Sutton, Splectron should have contacted one of the organizers in Bequia and made an inquiry as to what he should caution his patrons about, once they arrived on the Grenadine Island.

“We are a tourist destination and we are trying to promote something,” Sutton told SEARCHLIGHT.

He added that there were many regional visitors, another niche market that the organizers were trying to target, but this sort of behaviour could potentially be damaging.

Already some people said that they were not returning and, according to Sutton, he has already declared that he does not intend to organize any activity next year, on Easter Sunday.

He said that there were large numbers of people coming off the boats intoxicated, after using marijuana and consuming alcohol, but they also need to show some respect.

The issue has received a lot of attention, with many discussions being held, Sutton said, but it seems that nothing had changed.

When contacted, Splectron said even though some of the rowdy individuals were seen wearing white, it was difficult to determine if they were indeed part of his activity.

He added that the organizers in Bequia also needed to do something about the unavailability of public washroom facilities.

Splectron also said there were ways for the taxi operators to ensure that they are not ripped off, by hiring conductors for the day.

He, however, noted that while he had not received any complaints, he did not condone such behaviour.

The promoter told SEARCHLIGHT that he hoped that there will not be a repeat in the future and that had he known beforehand, he would have announced to the patrons of his boat ride to act in a more respectful manner, so as not to annoy the residents of Bequia or any of the other visitors.