GEORGE TOWN (GOVENOR’S OFFICE) –
Following the Cayman Islands Overseas Territory Search and Rescue Capability Review conducted by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) with UK funding in December, the Fire Service and Police have begun to deploy new equipment to bolster search and rescue capability.
A rigid inflatable boat (RHIB) was procured by the Cayman Islands Government from the UK’s Royal National Lifeboat Institute and the Governor’s Office arranged for it to be shipped to Cayman courtesy of the RFA Mounts Bay. The Atlantic 75 RHIB is specifically designed for inshore search and rescue operations and is being fitted with new engines and navigational equipment with the assistance of the Royal Engineers on the Mounts Bay.
The boat will be stationed at West Bay Fire Station and will be used to provide added cover and quicker reaction times to incidents on the south and west side of Grand Cayman. Fire Officers will be receiving boat handling training from the Royal Marines based on the RFA vessel.
In addition both the Fire Service and RCIPS have been equipped with wave runners with rescue boards to aid rapid response to inshore law enforcement and surf rescues.
It is great to see the deployment of this new equipment to boost our ability to save lives at sea.
Minister of Financial Services and Home Affairs, Honourable Tara Rivers, who was on hand to witness the training of the officers on the RHIB commented “It is great to see the deployment of this new equipment to boost our ability to save lives at sea. The Fire Service is well placed to play a key role in search and rescue, both in terms of the location of the fire stations and the lifesaving skills that fire officers already have. We are grateful to the FCO, RFA and Royal Navy for the logistical assistance and training that have been provided for this project.”
Her Excellency the Governor, Helen Kilpatrick said “I am pleased to see an early practical outcome from the MCA’s review of search and rescue capability. This is a good example of close cooperation between the Cayman Islands and UK Governments”