COVID-19 Protocol for diving form Yachts and Vessels Updated 28 April 2021

This protocol describes the procedure to be followed by the dive schools on Statia and divers from yachts and other vessels to allow diving with instructors from Statia while minimalizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission. It applies for yachts and vessels who have been in a high risk country during the last 14 days. [1]

Yachts and Vessels from low risk countries are upon request permitted to dock in the harbour.

Yachts and Vessels from low risk countries are upon request permitted to dock in the harbour.

The dive school has to submit the maritime declaration to inform the public health, the Customs & Immigration  and the harbourmaster on forehand about the arriving yacht/vessel.  The yacht has to comply by the rules and regulations set by Customs and Immigration.

The maritime declaration contains at least:

  • The name of the vessel involved;
  • The  place of origin of the vessel;
  • The location and date of the last stops of the vessel  before entering Statian waters;
  • The number of persons aboard on the vessel.

The dive school has to inform the authorities upfront on every dive they will conduct through this regime by sending a mail to info.covid19@statiagov.com  This mail needs to be sent at least the day before the dive and contain:

  • The date and the timeslot of the dive(s);
  • The number of persons diving.

The dive school is responsible for collecting the Stenapa, anchor and tax fees and pay them to the harbour office.

The procedure for the diving will be:

  • The yacht/vessels do not come  alongside the dock but stays off shore;
  • A dive school boat will rendezvous with the yacht at a dive site;
  • The  Yacht  will tie off the stern of the dive school vessel;
  • Yacht crew member will remain on yacht as surface support;
  • Dive school crew member will remain on the diving vessel as surface support;
  • The dive school will have an experienced dive instructors on board;
  • A detailed dive briefing, including a drawing, will be conducted from the dive school vessel while the yacht crew and guests remain in the yacht—close enough to see and hear the briefing but at a social distance of more than 6 feet and wearing masks;
  • With dive masks on faces and regulators in their mouths, all divers will meet the instructor/guide on the surface, at the monitoring line and begin their descent. The dive will be guided by a dive instructor;
  • Once the dive is completed and divers reach the surface, masks will remain in place and regulators in mouths;
  • Yacht crew will assist yacht divers back on board yacht ;
  • Dive School staff will assist the dive instructor to come aboard of the dive school vessel;

If the divers need assistance in getting in and out of the water and inspected by the dive school staff it is allowed, only when they dive school staff wears mask, that:

  • quarantine divers come on the back gunnel of the boat facing towards the water with feet on the back swim deck to be assisted into their gear and ensure it is fitted, working, and air is open prior to entering the water from the back of the boat.
  • quarantine divers can exit the water using dive boat ladder, sit on the back gunnel facing the ocean, remove their gear, then board their dinghy from our back swim deck.
  • If any (rental) equipment is required by the divers , it will be picked up by one yacht crew person without physical contact—it can be transferred at a dive site;
  • Upon return rented dive equipment will be treated as contaminated and will be separately cleaned and disinfected  by the dive school.
  • The dive school has to submit a cleaning protocol for approval to the public health

In case of an emergency  with one of the divers the following procedure will be followed:

  • The public heath will be informed on the emergency  with a person on board of the vessel
  • the public health will liaise with the harbour office, the hospital and the police to assure a safe and effective handling of the emergency
  • preferably the dive school vessel brings the person ashore.
  • All people not involved in the direct treatment keep distance.
  • Everybody wears a facemask.
  • If medical treatment is needed the hospital will be called and informed that it is a patient which is not from the Island.
  • The person will be treated as ‘COVID-suspect’ and wil be treated in the hospitainer;
  • The dive school staff involved in the treatment are treated as a possible direct contact   will be screened by the public health. A decision will be taken if quarantine is needed.

The dive schools are permitted to bring other supplies to the yachts (food goods etc.). For this the following rules apply:

  • No boarding of the yacht by the dive crew;
  • Wearing a mask during the handover ;
  • Hand sanitizing after the hand over;
  • As much as possible keeping social distance.