MIAMI – The U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning for those intending to visit the Bahamas.
A release issued this week warns visitors to exercise extreme caution in the islands due to crime. Officials say the majority of the crime occurs on the islands of New Providence and Grand Bahama, home of the city of Freeport.
In addition, U.S. government personnel are not allowed to visit the Sand Trap area in Nassau.
The State Department also warns of the hazards of recreational excursions, saying that "watercraft are often not maintained, and many companies do not have safety certifications to operate in The Bahamas."
The travel warning also advises visitors of the hazards of jet-ski operators who officials say have been known to commit sexual assaults against tourists.
The State Department offers the following advise to those who still wish to travel to the Bahamas.
- Exercise caution in the area known as "Over the Hill" (south of Shirley Street) and the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay in Nassau, especially at night.
- Do not answer your door at your hotel/residence unless you know who it is.
- Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Report for The Bahamas.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency and medical situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.