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UK report says Sister Isles without search and rescue capabilities

For the past eight months the sister islands have been without any search and rescue capability.
It’s something the UK Coast Guard and Maritime Agency took note of in its review of Cayman’s SAR capabilities.
This week the UK report on Cayman’s search and rescue capabilities was tabled in the LA and it pointed to gaps in key areas of Cayman’s SAR operations.
The largest concern was the lack of operational equipment needed to respond to search and rescue emergencies. It’s a gap Government has committed to address including the situation on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
The 75-page report took an in-depth look at Cayman’s capabilities and made recommendations.
It pointed out currently on the sister isles there is a lack of coordination, no committee, no enforcement and no structure in place for SAR, as well as, a lack of procedures and definition of roles and responsibilities.
The report also pointed out the fire rescue boat Cayman Brac is out of operation and due to lack of staff and budget issues, the Joint Marine Unit has not had a presence on either island since last August.
It also said volunteer capability is provided by diving companies, but that presents liability concerns. Added to that the Cayman Brac Customs new fishing vessel is not yet fully operational and is not purposed for search and rescue.
It also said the Department of Environment’s boat is no longer sea worthy and the Port Authority has no vessel.
We reached out to District Commissioner Ernie Scott who welcomed the promised attention to the needs of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
Mr Scott said the new customs boat is now up and running and as for the increased resources he said they are receiving consideration.

About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 16 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

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