South Shore beach toilets fail the sniff test
Tourists and residents have called for public toilets at three South Shore beaches to be cleaned up.
The bathrooms at Jobson's Cove, Chaplin Bay and Elbow Beach all came in for criticism from beachgoers when The Royal Gazette toured South Shore beaches last week.
But visitors gave the thumbs up to Horseshoe Bay, which has been renovated to include extensive facilities and is cleaned by staff three times a day.
Cruise ship visitor Alex Camboa said he was appalled by the “gross” state of the bathroom at Jobson's Cove.
He found it to be littered with toilet tissue, discarded lighters and cigarette butts. He added the bathroom smelled and the taps and soap dispensers did not work.
The 23-year-old, from New Jersey, said he would have to wash his hands in the sea.
He said: “I love your island, but this is disgusting.”
Shai Richardson, a camper at Chaplin Bay, said the bathrooms there had no lights.
She said: “You can't even use them at night because it's completely dark. It can be a little bit scary. We don't like bringing the little kids down there at night.”
Ms Richardson added that regular maintenance was needed to keep the bathrooms in good condition. She said only some of the sinks worked, but that they were “useless if there's no soap”.
Joanne Simmons, 62, a veteran of 44 years of camping, said the Chaplin Bay bathrooms were “much better” than they used to be and were clear of cockroaches and flies.
But she added: “There is always room for improvement.”
Ms Simmons said: “There are no trash cans whatsoever, none outside, none inside. You can't even wash your hands when you're finished using the bathroom.”
Nelson Brangman, originally from Bermuda, visited the island from New Jersey with American Tatiana Medley. Mr Brangman said that the public bathrooms at Elbow Beach needed to be better monitored and cleaned on a regular basis.
He added: “It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but every day the bathrooms need to be cleaned by somebody.”
Ms Medley said the Elbow Beach portable toilet was “unsanitary” and that “I have a fear that everything is dirty in there”.
Horseshoe Bay had the only toilets that won praise.
Leonardo Hickney, a tourist from New York, said the was “satisfied” with the condition of the bathrooms. He added: “I've definitely seen much worse. They're good quality — there's enough stalls, everything works fine.”
The Department of Parks said that the bathrooms were serviced every other day.
A spokeswoman said: “The Department of Parks makes a concerted effort to proactively address complaints regarding the condition of these facilities within a 24 to 48-hour time frame.”
The spokeswoman added: “The Ministry takes this opportunity to urge the community to be respectful of these public facilities as their purpose is to serve the entire community who seek to enjoy Bermuda's public beaches and parks.”
• UPDATE: Captions were amended on the photographs to make clear that some were file pictures from 2014, included for comparison purposes