Rafts on White River, St Ann destroyed by TPDCo for operating illegally
Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo) alongside the security forces destroy rafts on White River in St Ann on Thursday

Several rafts were destroyed by the Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo) alongside the security forces in White River, St Ann, on Thursday morning.

According to the TPDCo, the move followed several attempts to end illegal rafting and several issues being reported on the river.

In a release sent out to the media on Thursday, the TPDCo said the operation that started around 10:00 am comes after many consultations with offending parties and a myriad of complaints from visitors and stakeholders.

Among the complaints, it noted, are that of sexual harassment, raftsmen operating in a drunken state, other criminal activities, and a prolonged breach of the River Rafting Act.

Rafts along the White River, St Ann being destroyed on Thursday by the Tourism Product Development Company Limited and members of the security forces.

The TPDCo said utilising a "clear, hold, and reset" strategy, the TPDCo partnered with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Jamaica Defence Force in terminating the illegal activities.

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".

It pointed out that this has been a long-standing issue and the action comes after several consultation 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.

It stated that 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, this they said took place to no avail.

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