Coast Guard Steering Committee chairman Wesley Howell says all hands are on deck to make Cayman’s Coast Guard and border protection agency a reality by 2019.
And he assures there will be no job losses when departments are amalgamated to create them.
“We have so many people that live and play in the ocean that we need to be able to provide a safe environment for them,” Mr Howell said.
Government is forging ahead with its plans to create a Coast Guard and a Border Protection Agency and they have the enlisted two senior UK officers to make it happen.
“When it was announced during the budget address and throne speech that this was a priority area for them so we are hoping to fulfill on that requirement from the Government to deliver a fit for purpose coast guard,” Mr. Howell said.
Leading the charge on that delivery is Immigration Chief Officer Wesley Howell. He said funds are allocated for the creation of both agencies in this budget cycle. But building the physical assets will take time.
“If we are looking at major assets unmanned aircraft and large vessels that could stay at sea for longer time periods then that would kick in in the 2020 budget cycle,” he explained.
The creation of the Coast Guard and a Border Protection Agency will see the amalgamation of the Joint Marine Unit, Immigration and Customs personnel.
“I am not seeing any job losses, the amalgamation of services may create the need for additional resources as you know we have many borders to patrol when e think about it we have three islands all surrounded by water,” he said.
Mr. Howell said the organisational structure of the two agencies are yet to be determined but the chief officer assures the goal is to have Caymanians at the helm and succession planning in place.
The creation of the Coast Guard was recommended following a probe into Cayman’s search and rescue capabilities after Caymanians Gary Mullings, Edsel Haylock, Nicholas Walter… And brothers kamron and Kanyi Brown were lost at sea last year.