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TPDCo moves to end illegal rafting on White River in St Ann

Published:Thursday | March 30, 2023 | 9:49 AM
Tourists experiencing rafting on the White River in St Ann. - File photo.

The Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo) says it has moved to put a stop to illegal rafting on the White River in St Ann.

The agency says this comes after several consultations with offending parties and a myriad of complaints from visitors and stakeholders.

According to TPDCo, among the complaints are that of sexual harassment, raftsmen operating in a drunken state, other criminal activities, and a prolonged breach of the River Rafting Act.

Utilising a “clear, hold, and reset” strategy, TPDCo says it partnered with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in terminating the illegal activities.

It says the operation also included closure notice signs being posted, advising the general public that the section of the White River under the bridge is closed to unlicensed activities by order of the River Rafting Authority, which regulates and controls river rafting in Jamaica.

TPDCo notes that this has been a longstanding issue and the action comes after several meetings with operators undertaking illegal activities where they were informed of the illegality of their operations and the intention of the authorities to have the activities terminated.

Other public bodies including the National Environment & Planning Agency (NEPA) and the St Ann Municipal Corporation have also served warning and enforcement notices on the illegal operators from as early as October 2022, the agency points out.

A final warning was issued by the St Ann police who visited the site and requested that operators voluntarily remove their rafts by March 20, 2023, to no avail.

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