Beginning today, Blacktip Island scuba divers will undergo multiple security screenings before boarding dive boats due to threats made against the Caribbean island’s reefs.
“We got credible intel about attacks on the underwater environment,” Public Safety director Ferris Skerritt said. “These attacks are aimed at destroying Blacktip’s tourism industry and could result in the death of recreational divers, as well as untold fish and coral heads.
“We’ve called for, and received, the government’s full support in combating this threat,” Skerritt said.
The Tiperon Islands government has contracted security measures to Skerritt Security.
Local dive professionals dispute the threat’s seriousness.
“One out of context remark, and Barney Fife breaks out the prods and rubber gloves,” Eagle Ray Divers operations manager Ger Latner said. “It’s like last year’s War on Terriers fiasco, where ol’ Ferris rounded up all the island dogs for questioning. On the government dime, of course.”
Island business owners defend the screenings.
“The hell we’re not threatened! By eco-terrorists!” Eagle Ray Divers owner Rich Skerritt said. “A nutcase on one of our boats said, clear as day, he was gonna blow up fish. Then his accomplice referenced an ‘ayatollah.’ That’s a threat, context be damned.”
“The dude said, ‘That blowfish was the bomb,’” Eagle Ray Divers divemaster Alison Diesel said. “Then his drunk buddy slurred, ‘I, uh, told you so.’ People on Blacktip don’t make bombs, we get bombed.”
Security experts, however, are taking no chances.
“Each resort now has explosive trace detectors and millimeter wave scanners at the top of their docks,” Ferris Skerritt said. “Then X-ray backscatter machines and hands-on security personnel at each boat. You wont be able to sniff the reef without a thorough going over.”
The measures already have scuba diving guests complaining of overzealous screeners.
“Those chuckleheads groped me places I didn’t know I had,” scuba guest Bubba Gadgette said. “Two of ‘em. Four times! I mean, what could I possibly hide in my Speedo? Now, I enjoyed it and all, but they confiscated my booties for no reason.”
Officials dismissed the complaints.
“Of course it’s intrusive. And expensive,” Ferris Skeritt said. “We can’t take any chances. And the program’s an unqualified success: we’ve had zero attacks since we installed our system.
“We’re also looking at ways to protect the island’s reefs from lone-wolf shore divers,” Skerritt said. “No telling what some radicalized Cousteau-wannabe’s capable of. By God, we’ll scan them on the beaches and frisk them on the ironshore if need be. Cost be damned.”