Premier: ‘Appears To Be An Illegal Raft-Up’

June 9, 2021 | 27 Comments

[Updated] “The images of what appears to be an illegal raft-up are not in compliance with the laws of Bermuda as raft-ups are not permitted,” Premier David Burt said, adding he has “asked the Minister of National Security to liaise with the Bermuda Police Service on this matter.”

Premier Burt tweeted, “The images of what appears to be an illegal raft-up are not in compliance with the laws of Bermuda as raft-ups are not permitted. I have asked the Minister of National Security to liaise with the Bermuda Police Service on this matter.”

While not implicitly stated, the Premier’s comments appear to be in relation to images circulating — which appear to have originated from a number of Instagram stories– which show a number of people partying on boats, and have resulted in a number of discussions on social media.

The images and videos on the original Instagram posts, which were mostly posted within the last 24 hours, are often tagged as being in Bermuda, appear to show Bermuda in the background, and other indications they are in Bermuda, such as a waiter wearing pink Bermuda shorts and a Bermuda flag hanging on the boat. The videos also show a musical performance, with the images tagging the account of the international artist Shaggy.

Screenshot from one IG story posted within the last 24 hours:

to crop_Moment

Many of the original Instagram posts also tag Revolve, and a look at the official Instagram Revolve account -- which has 4.6 million followers – shows that they list their location as “currently Bermuda” and have recent images which are clearly taken in Bermuda, such as at the Unfinished Church.

The Government has issued multiple Large Group Exemptions for entities that included the name Revolve. One is for a dinner tonight [June 9], one for a dinner on Monday [June 8] at the Unfinished Church, one to allow people to gather from June 6th to 11th, and one for what was called a ‘Group Yacht Day’ last night, which stated it permitted a “group of more than 10 persons to assemble Tuesday, June 8 2021 between 7:00 pm and 10:30 pm at the Unfinished Church, Government Hill Road, St. George’s Parish with the following conditions:

“Persons attending or working at the Revolve Group Yacht Day must be able to demonstrate that they are fully immunised or have tested negative for the coronavirus at least 3 days before Tuesday, June 8, 2021. Use of the SafeKey QR code that is issued by the Ministry of Health will denote that persons have been fully immunised or have tested negative for the coronavirus in the past 72 hours. Number of attendees: 80 [70 Revolve Group / 10 support staff].”

Bernews has reached out to a number of entities seeking comment and/or more information and we will update as able.

Update 5pm: Constitutional Freedom Bermuda said they call “upon the Minister of National Security, Renee Ming MP to explain the rationale behind granting overseas retail company, Revolve, an exemption to bring non-Bermudians to have a paradise vacation party in Bermuda, whilst Bermudians are subjected to a laundry list of unreasonable restrictions.

“The Revolve exemption was granted on 10 May 2021, prior to the Government’s indication that unvaccinated Bermudians would be put to the expense of having to mandatorily quarantine at designated luxury hotels selected by the Government, for 14 days.

“Today, 9 June 2021, photos and videos are circulating demonstrating that the Revolve group are gallivanting in full-party mode, in direct contravention of the very same Covid-19 regulations that Bermudians are subjected to; individuals can be seen in close proximity to one another whilst not wearing a mask and participating in raft-ups with far more than the permitted number of individuals.

“The Minister’s decision to grant an exemption to Revolve is clearly unreasonable and unacceptable and the Government should be held to account; the misguided decision demonstrates the hypocrisy of the current Government and is illustrative of their dictatorial attitude which is reminiscent of the kind of totalitarianism seen in historic times that we’d all like to forget.

“Whilst the Bermuda citizenry was confined to their homes under the force of an emergency stay-at-home order, Minister Ming and the Premier saw fit to grant exemptions to overseas entity, Sail GP, so that they could practice for their elite boat race and also granted an exemption to the overseas contractor conducting works at the newly opened St. Regis hotel. It is now clear why the government extended the applicability period for the mandatory quarantine: to allow a non-Bermudian entity to bring non-Bermudians to the island for the purposes of hosting a party.

“The regressive government led by Premier David Burt needs to be held to account immediately; this regressive government is clearly placing overseas interest above the interests and rights of Bermudians.”

Update 5:15pm: The Minister of National Security has commented, her remarks can be read here.

Update 6.00pm: The police said,”The Bermuda Police Service can confirm an investigation into this incident has commenced. It would not be prudent to make any further comment pending the outcome of that investigation.”

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Comments (27)

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  1. Steve says:

    If people can’t understand the benefit of this publicity to Bermuda, there is no hope.

    • Ringmaster says:

      The Premier is vexed he didn’t get an invite. How dare the people safely enjoy themselves. The beatings will continue until morale improves.

  2. dunn juice says:

    looks like st regis.. lets make another app for that

  3. Me says:

    I wonder if he asked the minister to look into that party down st regis?

  4. raskarr says:

    Let’s go!!! Keep doing this! It’s the only way we’ll get our freedom back from these ridiculous rules!

  5. sandgrownan says:

    Looks like a church service to me.

    • Question says:

      Yes, in that case no problem.

      • Ringmaster says:

        Church services are OK with no limitations (shows where the power really lies). Rev Shaggy was probably giving a blessing to the boats.

  6. Right says:

    Bla bla bla. Dictator Burt all talk again. The government’s power comes from the people. If the people refuse to recognize the rules set down by an unjust and unrepresentative government then what will Burt do?

    There are only two Bermuda’s because we let them herd us like cattle. We need to stand up and take our freedom because it’s clear this government only wants it for themselves.

    • Question says:

      The criticism comes out of the fact that 1. Burt doesn’t follow his own laws, and 2. He sets the laws for the convenience of football teams, not to safeguard public health.

  7. Toodle-oo says:

    “The Government has issued multiple Large Group Exemptions for entities that included the name Revolve. One is for a dinner tonight [June 9], one for a dinner on Monday [June 8] at the Unfinished Church, one to allow people to gather from June 6th to 11th, and one for what was called a ‘Group Yacht Day’ last night, which stated it permitted a “group of more than 10 persons to assemble Tuesday, June 8 2021 between 7:00 pm and 10:30 pm at the Unfinished Church, Government Hill Road, St. George’s Parish with the following conditions:”

    So someone got video of these events without having a clue what was going on. Other people have now seen and shared them making the usual claims about ‘privilege and entitlement’ and government is acting like they know nothing about it. Sounds like the new Bermuda to me , all over again.

  8. Concerned says:

    OMG! Leave these kids alone. Focus your attention on Tourism. Nobody wants to come here with all the testing and restrictions.

    A tourist comes here they need a pre-approval test, airport swab, four day swab, eight day swab and if they get a positive or a false positive they get sent to your Covid jail for two weeks at their expense. NOBODY WILL COME!

    You are the Minister of Tourism. Please do your job. Fintech dreams can wait. We have thousands of people yearning to visit Bermuda. Relax the rules. Everybody that wanted a Vaccine has got one. Why are you trying to protect the folks that don’t want the jab? Its time for some risk. You can’t stay at Zero. I believe you would be foolish to try.

  9. Whogivesash*t says:

    So the Premier and all his cronies can throw an “opening ceremony” at St Regis with like 50+ people (during our last lockdown) and now he’s gonna go after these people who are literally doing nothing but promoting the shit out of Bermuda (4 million plus followers)… everyone needs to just give it a rest and mind their own friggin business.

  10. Question says:

    Yeah, well Burt, you broke the rules too, and nothing happened. What goes around…

    Now that the Bermuda football team is back, Burt will go ahead and impose the quarantine on unvaccinated travellers.
    What limp-wristed poor leadership.

    He has absolutely no idea what he is doing. He gets led around around by the nose trying to stay ‘popular’.
    And he loves those champagne parties with rich people.

  11. Orville Burrell says:

    It wasn’t me!

  12. Mr S Haggy says:

    It wasn’t me!

  13. Robson says:

    This is a non story, leave them alone.

    It’s ridiculous we can’t raft up anyway, no new cases in ages – time to open up.

  14. Otrwele says:

    Hahahahahaha!! LMFAO! This government is a joke and anyone who agrees with them! 2 Bermudas. Has always been and will always be . Wake up!

  15. Ringmaster says:

    A December funeral service was a superspreader event. Nothing happened.

    There was an alleged illegal large party at the Botanical Gardens and in Smiths. Nothing happened.

    St Regis opened to a cocktail party where rules were broken. Nothing happened even though the “optics didn’t look good”.

    In March a person broke quarantine and caused the Island to be locked down, and 18 deaths. Nothing happened.

    Many many more, but nothing was done, just fine curfew breakers because it is simple and no work for the police and courts.

    The Revolve event is more beneficial to Bermuda than anything the BTA or Minister of Tourism has done in years. The reaction from Government should be to fire the Minister of Tourism as a start. Churches can have unlimited people indoors singing and shouting, but an outdoor raft up is illegal. Talk about stupidity. Time for the people to take back the Island from the useless politicians.

  16. Triangle Drifter says:

    What people need to do is ignore all of this Governments silly rules en masse. What are they going to do? Can’t arrest one without arresting all. The jail is not big enough.

    Bermuda needs to reopen. US recreation areas are booming. A mask is getting to be as rare as the dodo bird.

    So this clothing outfit comes in, spends tens of thousands, puts plenty of fluff on boats & it is shown to thousands. Didn’t cost the BTA a penny. Great publicity & starving local companies got some business.

    The Minister is disappointed that regulations were not followed. How gullible can she & Burt be? It was a party on boats. Masks & thongs don’t go together.

  17. RastaCutty says:

    What I would like to know is why are they allowed to bring their own overseas film videographer and overseas photographer? Is it not law that they have to hire locals in those roles or if not they have to have apply for work permits? Asking as a supporter of hiring locals in those roles.

    • Unbelievable says:

      @RastaCutty…it’s not law. It’s immigration policy but yes I agree. Any outside videographer or photographer has to have a work permit but more than likely this was facilitated by the BTA and so Revolve would bring their own people. If anything, locals have been hired as support camera staff. Or maybe not. It happens from time to time that crews come in and no one locally is hired.

    • dunn juice says:

      Probably the same entertainer they gave 800k to..

  18. Unbelievable says:

    But all kidding aside, Revolve spend all this money to come here and they bring Shaggy with them? #notrelevant

  19. Termite99 says:

    But everyone has a camera and video recorder in their pocket. Good luck limiting photos etc to local pros.

  20. Ringmaster says:

    Surely the issue here is what is the legal definition of “raft up”? The regulations merely say “no person can tie one boat to another boat”. Guess what, St George’s harbour is full of boats with another boat tied to it. Are they raft ups? Of course not so how could the police do anything about an alleged “illegal raft up” when there is no legal definition? Also does a restriction such as this fall under the Public Health Emergency Act when the Premier himself has said it’s only there because it can’t be monitored, not because it is a public health matter?

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