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UK review calls for immediate action

UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency says Cayman’s Joint Marine Unit’s off-shore vessels should be addressed as a top priority.
This after a review of Cayman’s Search and Rescue capabilities found both joint marine unit long-range vessels unusable, half of its overall fleet.
Today the review report was tabled in the LA and acting Deputy Governor Jennifer Ahearn assured immediate action will be taken to address all shortfalls.

“Government will be providing immediate funding to the JMU for the repair of one long range vessel,” Ms Ahearn said.

It’s a commitment to take swift action after the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s highlights serious deficiencies in Cayman’s search and rescue capabilities, the acting Deputy Governor says improvements can be made.

“We can take steps to implement these recommendations to quickly make positive strides towards enhancing the search and rescue capacity in Cayman Islands,” she says.

The over-arching review was prompted by the tragic disappearance of Gary Mullings, Nicholas Watler, Edsell Haylock and children Kanyi and Kamron Brown last March. And was recommended by UK commander Andrew Jenkins after he reviewed efforts to find the missing five..
Ms Ahearn says a strategic committee will be formed to oversee all search and rescue in Cayman

“And this (committee) will be tasked with working towards the implementation of the recommendations in the MCA report,” Ms Ahearn added.

Among those recommendations.. The possible introduction of a volunteer search and rescue unit, adding the Fire Services to increase capacity to assist in search and rescue efforts. The report also pointed out improvements of search and rescue capabilities on the sister islands are also needed.
Ms Ahearn says supplies will be given to the fire services to assist in SAR. She also said a security needs analysis is currently being undertaken by UK officials who were in Cayman two weeks to review local law enforcement capabilities.

About the author

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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