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Warning about Jet Ski hoodlums on the beach at Atlantis, Bahamas

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We just got back from 7 nights at Atlantis and I wanted to give everyone a heads-up about the scamming activity that is happening on the Atlantis beach on Paradise Island.

We rented Jet Ski's on three different occasions during our stay and were scammed each time. Each time we thought that we had figured it out and could out-think these thugs, they were ahead of us with our lack of local information.

On the first occasion, we bartered with them until the price was for two Jet Skis for 45 minutes for $60 each. (At first they were asking for $150, but when we walked away the price got better and better, or so we thought. They told us that they would get us when the time was up. After what was approx 20 minutes (we didn't have a watch), they sent someone out to say that our time was up and we came back in. First mistake: bring a watch or timer.

On the second occasion, my son and his friend went alone and were simply intimidated into paying the full-price, which is about twice what it should be. Ironically, this time the locals lost out because my son's Jet Ski ran out of gas when he was near an island about 3 miles off of Paradise Island and he was lost for about 4 hours until he figured out that the island that he was on was Salt Cay, the home to The Blue Lagoon Dolphin Encounter and he rode the last ferry back with the crew back to Atlantis and told the Jet Ski boys where the ski was.

On the last occasion, we thought that we were in the know and brought a timer with us. After negotiating for a good price for 5 Jet Skis for an hour ($65 ea), we took them out and started our timer. What happened at about 35 minutes was a separate guy came out on a Jet Ski and waved us in. After arguing for about 15 minutes with us and actually driving his Jet Ski in front of ours in an act of intimidation, we decided to just go back in and forget it. His main argument was that the guy that we negotiated with didn't have the authority to make that decision. This argument only emerged after he initially said that the hour was up, and then we pulled out the timer which clearly showed that we had 25 minutes remaining. Mistake: Get the deal in writing and be prepared to involve the police.

We told a taxi driver about the incident later and her advise was to threaten them with going to the police immediately and the thugs would have backed down. She also told us that there were similar scammers involving renting scooters on Paradise Island.

My advise, just stay clear of these guys and don't rent anything like this.

Just a heads up to you heading out to Atlantis, Paradise Island.

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