Bomb scare at St. Maarten Port was a hoax

POSTED: 01/12/15 10:31 PM

St. Maarten —Operations at the harbor came to a standstill for almost an hour yesterday following reports of a bomb threat which caused police and emergency personnel to respond in droves and close off access in and out of the Pointe Blanche area.

Subsequent investigations proved the threat to be a hoax played by a female crew member on board one of the cruise ships docked at the Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise and cargo facilities. This bad joke resulted in massive traffic jams in the Pointe Blanche and Philipsburg areas.

“At approximately 4.00pm on Wednesday afternoon January 7th, St. Maarten Port Security was alerted about the situation and access to the cruise ship was closed off.  Local police authorities were alerted about the possible bomb threat and mobilized personnel who made their way to the port. Police, Port Security and the Captain of the vessel discussed the situation.  A search of the vessel was carried out and the vessel was cleared of any threats,” Police spokesman Ricardo Henson explained in a press release on the heels of the incident.

“Port St. Maarten and police after receiving the call from the cruise ship carried out its security protocols in such an event.  The investigation done by the police authorities indicated that a female crew member was in the process of passing through security of the cruise ship when the metal detector went off.  Cruise ship security asked that person what she had in her pocket and she replied, ‘a bomb.’ After the all clear sign was given around 4.45pm by Cruise Ship Security and the Police, the port complex was reopened and operations continued as normal. As a result of this “bomb threat” traffic had to be diverted this caused the traffic to backup for approximately an hour,” inspector Henson explained.

The Captain of the vessel, local Police authorities and prosecutors office in consultation with each other decided to turn the further investigation over to the U.S. authorities. Henson opted not to release the name of the cruise line and vessel due to further investigations.

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