Promoters fed up with violence on cruises

A number of promoters who organize cruises aboard the Jolly Roger said they were sick of the increasing violence and are demanding an end to it.

It was just yesterday that an angry Martin Bynoe, Managing Director of Black Pearl Party Cruises – the company that owns the Jolly Roger – told Barbados TODAY the violence was threatening to sink his business and that he was prepared to take a financial hit by suspending night cruises.

However, a store owner and event promoter who has an upcoming cruise on another pleasure boat, said too many people would be affected if the night cruises were cancelled.

“The partying life on the boat right now feeds a lot of people. For me I am a store owner so it would affect me. There aren’t that many parties in Barbados right now and we are living off the cruises right now. When you put a stop to the cruises, you will have a severe problem because clothes won’t be selling, hairdressers and nail techs won’t be making as much money,” the promoter, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Barbados TODAY.

He said he was troubled by the violence and called on the authorities to do something to put an end to it.

“Something has to be done about it. The Government needs to get more serious with the laws, and these minor charges and few days on remand and then back out. People are laughing and making sport at them. The laws need to get bit tighter and implement some stern laws. Everyone seems to have a gun these days, the Government need to get serious and show the people they are real serious,” he stressed.

Another promoter, Dwayne Drakes, who has an upcoming cruise themed Blended on the Jolly Roger, said he too was concerned about the violence.

His event takes place in the daytime, a period which has not attracted violence, but this did not mean he was not worried.

“I spoke to the captain this morning. The cruise is still on. He told us he had several meetings with the police and he told us what will happen is that when the boat is coming back in there will be a police presence there to greet the boat while it is docking. We should be good so I’m not to worried,” he said, adding: “I have not increased my security and I won’t be doing it this time around.”

Another promoter who has an upcoming night cruise on the Jolly Roger said he was not sure whether or not his cruise had been suspended, but he too was troubled.

“Of course I am concerned about the violence. I have to speak to the captain again but my crowd isn’t that kind of violent crowd. But I would prefer if the violence just cease at this point.”

Within the last six months there have been three gun-related incidents surrounding the Jolly Roger. Two men were shot after leaving a cruise aboard the vessel in April; on June 9, Rico Reid, 23, was shot and killed in Wharf Road before he was able to board the boat and last Sunday night Ronisha Wilkinson, a 17-year-old mother of Grazettes, St Michael was shot at the back of her head, while 19-year-old Kemari Lewis of Black Rock, St Michael was allegedly shot in the left shoulder and Kadeem Maycock, 20, of Baxters Road was shot in his left foot. They were all rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment.

Bynoe blamed the shootings on gang warfare and pleaded with the troublemakers to stay away from his business. 

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