Independent Maritime Services’ (IMS) christening of its Pilot Boat, Victory 1, on Friday (October 5) at Bradford Marine was described as an inspiration for many Bahamians by keynote speaker for the historic event, Deputy Prime Minister K. Peter Turnquest.
Congratulating IMS executives, DPM Turnquest noted that the company’s story exemplified how it is possible to be successful in Grand Bahama in non-traditional sectors of the economy.
“It should give other young Bahamians confidence and courage,” he said.
Turnquest added that he is also encouraged by IMS.
He noted that everyday entrepreneurs and hardworking people, like members of IMS, show that Grand Bahama is indeed a place for industry.
Turnquest stated that IMS has also proven that it is possible for young Bahamians to be successful in the maritime sector. “The market is ripe with potential.”
The maritime industry is currently the third largest contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP) of The Bahamas, behind tourism and financial services, which hold the first and second spots respectively. It represents approximately 12 percent of the GDP in The Bahamas.
“The government certainly recognizes this. We secured a $500,000 grant from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to finance a three-year technical cooperation project on the Blue Economy, because we want to educate more Bahamians about the opportunities within our marine environment,” the deputy prime minister disclosed.
He added that this includes maritime transport, fisheries and new areas such as aquaculture, biotechnology, maritime safety, and surveillance, ocean energy, seabed mining and desalinization. This also includes opportunities in insurance, financing, ship brokering, maritime law, as well as management and ship-owning.
“As The Bahamas strives for economic growth, the government is determined to see the Blue Economy be a greater source of innovation, entrepreneurship, job creation and economic growth for our people,” he said.
The deputy prime minister informed that members of IMS have 80 years of collective maritime experience, which is impressive for such a young group of Bahamians.
Turnquest furthered that more Bahamians can and should follow in their footsteps and pursue careers in the Maritime Industry. He expressed that The Bahamas is ideal for taking advantage of opportunities the sector can provide.
“The Maritime Industry is a part of our shared heritage, and every Bahamian knows about the opportunities that exist,” he said.
He stated that he is very proud of IMS and its contribution to taking the Bahamian economy to the next level. “I am confident that this is only the first step.”
Turnquest finally encouraged members of the IMS to remain committed to their vision. “I want to encourage you to continue with the same focus and discipline that got you to this point.”
IMS President, Captain Kendall Williamson explained that IMS is a group of maritime professionals providing a wide array of services, including pilotage for vessels that call at the anchorage of Grand Bahama, lightering/ship-to-ship operations, launch boat service and pilotage services for vessels that call throughout Out Islands of The Bahamas.
IMS recognizes the diversity of the industry and continues to embark on new strategies and segments of the industry, he added.
The company also has the duty to act in the public’s best interest and maintain independent judgment from any outside influences that may jeopardize maritime safety.
IMS Director, Justin Wallace stated that this is one of the biggest days in the company’s history and thanked all who attended the ceremony and witnessed the vessel’s history.
He also thanked IMS members and the event’s coordinators. “We look forward to continued success and support of the Ministry of Transport and our stakeholders.”
Clayton Curtis was the event’s Master of Ceremonies and Member of Parliament for Englerston, Glenys Hanna-Martin also attended the ceremony.