Officers from the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) have arrived in the Cayman Islands to begin a review of search and rescue capability.
Phil Bostock, National Maritime Operations Commander and Naomi Davies, MCA International Projects Coordinator will be here for two weeks. They will be working with a number of government agencies including the RCIPS, the Fire Service and Customs and Immigration Departments to look at ways to enhance operations to ensure the safe and efficient management of incidents and resources. The MCA officers will also be holding focus group meetings with local boat captains, industry representatives and other interested parties in both Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.
The review will produce a strategy giving clear advice on appropriate policies, procedures, staffing, training and equipment to enhance search and rescue capability in a cost effective and appropriate way.
The project was proposed by the Governor's Office working with the Ministry of Home Affairs and is being funded under the UK's Conflict, Security and Stability Fund. It has now been expanded to include reviews of all the UK Caribbean Overseas Territories, Bermuda and the Falkland Islands. The review in the Cayman Islands is the first to be undertaken.
H.E. the Governor, Helen Kilpatrick commented:
"This project provides an excellent opportunity to review how the Cayman Islands provides search and rescue services. Operations, equipment and legislation are constantly evolving and the cooperation with the UK MCA will help to ensure that we can keep up to date with developments and ensure seafarers around our islands are as safe as possible".
Police Commissioner Derek Byrne commented:
"We welcome the arrival of our colleagues from the MCA, and look forward to their assessment and recommendations as to the kind of search and rescue capabilities the islands should have, the resources required in terms of personnel and equipment, and how all agencies ensuring public safety and border protection can coordinate effectively to manage critical incidents on the water."