Published On: Tue, Mar 5th, 2019

Though colorful they still need removing

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SIMPSON BAY — A colorful but curious aspect during the 39th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta was brought to the attention of StMaartenNews.com this past weekend. At least ten boat wrecks can be seen along the Airport Road all the way from the Airport to Causeway Bridge. So we sent our photographer to take some photos of some of these cheerfully adorned boat wrecks lining the shores of the Simpson Bay Lagoon. As we present these photos here below for the viewing pleasure of our readers, our question goes out to the Minister of VROMI, Miklos Giterson: “When will these boat wrecks be removed?”

Although some of these boat wrecks pose an eyesore for visitors, graffiti artists have taken to adorn some of these wrecks with their works of graffiti art. A year and a half after the passing of hurricanes Irma and Maria, we find it incredible that the authorities show absolutely no regard for the environment nor for what the island’s Shipwrecked Pirate Ship Simpson Bay Lagoon Airportvisitors might think of these abandoned vessels. Some may say the boat wrecks are now an attraction. That may very well be the case. Think of the famous yet sunken pirate ship (click on image to enlarge) near the airport. However, who is to say these wrecks do not pose a threat to the environment and the surrounding waters in the lagoon. They are clearly a hazard for the marine life, flora and fauna in the area.

These boat wrecks may serve as silent reminders of the devastation of the September 2017 hurricanes. We do not know what the tradition among sailors is when passing a ship or boat wreck, but we can imagine some may have made the sign of the cross and spoke a silent prayer for their mates who have lost their vessels in the storms or, even worst, their lives. We do not want to dishonor the memory these objects represent, but we do think that these boat wrecks belong elsewhere, if not salvaged, then cleaned up and put on display in an appropriate area for all to see, visitors and residents alike.

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Photo captions: Photos of some of the boat wrecks that line the Simpson Bay Lagoon alongside the Airport Road all the way up to the Causeway Bridge. Photos by Robin Pieters.



Statement from the Ministry of VROMI

All owners of shipwrecks located in the Simpson Bay Lagoon or Mullet Pond are asked to make contact. After a period of 6 weeks all remaining vessels become the property of the Minister of VROMI and will be removed as part of the Emergency Debris Management project.

Owners are asked to peruse the list of vessels at www.nrpbsxm.org/vessellist.