Crime And Unregulated Jet Ski Operations Throw Up Red Flags In This One-Time James Bond Paradise
Nassau in the Bahamas.
Sounds so James Bond-ish.
But don’t go there in search of “Thunderball” because it is now an undesirable place to visit, according to the U.S. State Department. In March, it issued a warning to Americans who plan to travel there, stating “violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assault, is common,” and warning visitors not to open their hotel door unless they know who is knocking at it.
Here is the warning it posted on the state department’s website:
“Violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assault, is common, even during the day and in tourist areas. Although the family islands are not crime-free, the vast majority of crime occurs on New Providence and Grand Bahama islands. U.S. government personnel are not permitted to visit the Sand Trap area in Nassau due to crime.
“Activities involving commercial recreational watercraft, including water tours, are not consistently regulated. Watercraft are often not maintained, and many companies do not have safety certifications to operate in The Bahamas. Jet-ski operators have been known to commit sexual assaults against tourists.
?As a result, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to use jet-ski rentals on New Providence and Paradise Islands.”
If this isn’t enough to scare you off and you do go ahead and travel there, it offers these suggestions to stay safe:
- Exercise caution in the area known as “Over the Hill” (south of Shirley Street) and the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay in Nassau, especially at night.
- Do not answer your door at your hotel/residence unless you know who it is.
- Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Report for The Bahamas.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency and medical situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist
The Bahamas are a beautiful place. If you go, then be cautious and follow these rules.