Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 18, 2023 (SKNIS): The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and the United Kingdom’s Hydrographic Office signed a bilateral agreement on April 17, 2023, at the Tourism Conference Room to further enhance sea safety.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Tivanna Wharton said “The intensity of maritime traffic in the Caribbean Sea has certainly created the need for coastal states in the Caribbean including St. Kitts and Nevis to promote safety at sea.”
“In St. Kitts and Nevis, our economies are heavily reliant on the shipping sector, in particular in tourism and trade, but overall of which have positive effects on the overall economic development of the Federation and so with the associated risk of maritime transports, it is therefore incumbent on all of us to ensure that our ports develop the capability and capacity to mitigate those risks,” said the Permanent Secretary.
She also stated that the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is a signatory to the Safety of Life at Sea Convention and that the country has a legal obligation to provide accurate and up-to-date nautical charts and other navigational information to ensure the safety of navigation in our waters.
The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office’s Deputy Chief Executive and National Hydrographer, Rear Admiral Rhett Hatcher, said that it was his pleasure to take part in the signing ceremony.
“This will allow us to further develop the already excellent relationship we have in sharing the task of producing Safety of Life At Sea (SOLAS) compliant charts and publications to support safe navigation in all of your waters,” he said.
“It will also allow the increased sharing of marine geospatial data for use and supporting a myriad of functions including but not limited to national security, renewable energy, environment and climate change issues, tourism, and the wider blue economy so important to island nations like yours and mine,” said Rear Admiral Hatcher.