Originally Posted by smurphny
The issue of short-visit boaters going back and forth between the Bahamas and U.S. without clearing in and out would seem to be one that both jurisdictions need to address. If there are a large number of people doing this, the security implications are large. LE simply ignoring traffic in and out of seaports makes all the fuss and inconvenience for travelers in airports and borders seem useless if boats can slip in and out at will.
The Florida "Local Boater" option addresses this somewhat on the US side. Maybe the Bahamas need to do something similar. If people have to jump through a lot of hoops to clear in and out, they simply will not do it if they want to spend a day or two in the Bahamas. Making the process easier and being serious about enforcement would probably solve the problem. It would also likely increase the number of people going over/revenue for the Bahamas.
Again, who says the people visiting the new casino in Bimini are being permitted to come and go at will?
The current cruising permit is good for 4 people per boat, and allows multiple visitation... For fishermen or gamblers shuttling back and forth between FL and Bimini, amortizing the expense of a permit over a number of trips, and perhaps sharing it between the people on board, the cost of entry would amount to a small fraction of the fuel used to run over and back, or dockage, etc... Hell, it wouldn't surprise me if the casino gives anyone who shows a cruising permit a complimentary stack of chips to start playing with. Why are people assuming these visitors are being given a free pass?