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Bahamas travel warning issued in wake of 18 murders so far this year

The Bahamas is a very dangerous place for tourists currently, U.S. officials warn.
The Bahamas is a very dangerous place for tourists currently, U.S. officials warn.

Think twice about a tropical getaway to the Caribbean this winter.

The U.S. embassy in the Bahamas has released a security warning and travel advisory that the island nation is currently unsafe for tourists amidst 18 murders — “primarily” motivated by gang violence — in January alone.

Safety concerns have reached a point of severity where U.S. officials say people shouldn’t even try to “physically resist” being robbed.

“Murders have occurred at all hours including in broad daylight on the streets,” the embassy wrote in a release, also recommending the use of “extreme caution” on the eastern side of the Bahamas’ capital city of Nassau.

The embassy also says that Americans should be especially vigilant at nighttime and “keep a low profile” always.

The U.S. State Department, which on Friday put the Bahamas on an “exercise increased caution” warning, noted that the danger persists in tourist and non-tourist areas.

U.S. officials warn that gang violence surges in the Bahamas pose a risk to tourists. yujie – stock.adobe.com
U.S. officials warn that gang violence surges in the Bahamas pose a risk to tourists. yujie – stock.adobe.com

Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis addressed the frightening violence last week, saying that there will be roadblocks and covert police action initiated to contain the crisis, according to the Nassau Guardian.

“This may make you late for your appointments, or delay plans you have, but this is a small price to pay for the collective benefit of having our streets made safer, and our lives less blighted by murder and other violent crimes,” he said.

There is also concern over unregulated recreational watercraft activities, which according to the state department may not be properly regulated or maintained for safety, and improper judgment has been used in the past by boaters.

“Commercial watercraft operators have discretion to operate their vessels regardless of weather forecasts; injuries and fatalities have occurred.”

U.S. officials advise Americans to reconsider travel to the Bahamas currently. cicols – stock.adobe.com
U.S. officials advise Americans to reconsider travel to the Bahamas currently. cicols – stock.adobe.com

Earlier this week, the State Department also put nearby Jamaica on a level three of four “reconsider travel” advisory — the only higher threat being a “do not travel” warning.

“Violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides, are common,” the department warns.

“Sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts.”