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KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, March 14, IWN – The Coastguard has assigned a vessel to patrol the waters of Bequia fulltime.

The presence of the vessel is expected to reduce the number of yacht burglaries and other crimes against yachters on the Northern Grenadine island, where burglaries were a major complaint last year.

“The Coastguard now mans the patrol boat which is now in the waters of Bequia on a fulltime basis,” Minister of Tourism Cecil McKie told Parliament on Monday, noting that Member for the Northern Grenadines, opposition lawmaker Dr. Godwin Friday, had often told Parliament of the crimes against visitors.

“I am sure that he will also note the fact that the presence of the patrol boat in the waters has also assisted in putting an additional dent in burglaries on yacht on Bequia and we are beginning to see positive response from that initiative,” McKie further said.

He said patrols are conducted both day and night and will be supplemented by the regular Coastguard patrols of Bequia.

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“Mr. Speaker, that is all part of the experience that we want our visitors to have when they visit St. Vincent and the Grenadines…” McKie further said.

He further congratulated contributors to the success of the Bequia music festival and noted that whalers on the island last week killed their first whale this season.