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Cayman, UK Talk Hurricanes

The HMS Iron Duke.

Cayman's top hazard management official, and a Governor's Office representative, have talked with UK officials about best practices for the hurricane season.

Mr. McCleary Frederick, director of Hazard Management Cayman Islands; and Mr. Andy Holbrook, staff officer to His Excellency the Governor, met advisers from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Department for International Development, in early July.

Also attending the Miami-based meeting were disaster management representatives from four fellow Overseas Territories - Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, and Turks and Caicos - and Bermuda.

During the session, representatives attended a briefing onboard HMS Iron Duke, a Royal Navy vessel that offers help to Caribbean islands, including the Cayman Islands, following hurricanes.

Mr. Frederick said the visit allowed an exchange of information, including a review of requirements that must be met in order for the ship to assist. It also gave attendees the opportunity to meet the crew prior to the ship's deployment to the Caribbean region later that month.

Rounding out the agenda were presentations from the US Coast Guard and the US National Hurricane Centre. Coast Guard staff highlighted their capabilities and strategy for this hurricane season. Hurricane Centre representatives provided an updated hurricane forecast.

Hurricanes - and Drug Interdictions

In addition to responding to humanitarian crises, the Royal Navy also assists with regional drug interdictions.

After visiting the Cayman Islands in July the HMS Iron Duke, in a joint operation with the US Coast Guard, intercepted a go-fast boat off the Venezuelan coast. The crews seized about 1,600 lbs. of cocaine, with an estimated street value of US$55 million.

Iron Duke Commander Andrew Stacey said the cocaine bust was a "major blow" to the drugs trade in the Caribbean.


For further information contact: Angela Piercy