UK Navy brings new rescue boat for fire service

| 10/07/2017 | 24 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands Fire Service inflatable lifeboat

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Fire Service has received a new life boat as well as waverunners with rescue boards to step up local search and rescue capabilities for inshore waters. British Navy vessel, RFA Mounts Bay, delivered the new rigid inflatable boat, which was procured by the local government from the UK’s Royal National Lifeboat Institute. The kit comes as a result of the findings of the Search and Rescue Capability Review conducted by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

The Atlantic 75 RHIB is specifically designed for inshore search and rescue and will be fitted with new engines and navigational kit with the help of the Royal Engineers from the Mounts Bay while they remain on island. Fire officers will be receiving boat handling training from the Royal marines based on the vessel as well.

Once the work is done, the new boat will be stationed at West Bay Fire Station and will be used to provide additional cover and quicker reaction times to incidents on the south and west side of Grand Cayman, officials said. Fire Officers will be receiving boat handling training from the Royal Marines based on the RFA vessel as well.

The police have also received a waverunners to help with their rescue operations.

The new equipment was unveiled Friday when the Mounts Bay arrived ahead of its disaster drills at the port and on the beach. The new home affairs minister, Tara Rivers, said it was great to see the deployment of the new life-saving equipment.

“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,” she said.

The desperate need for more appropriate rescue gear was identified in the UK report earlier this year. As Cayman beefs up its coast guard capabilities, Governor Helen Kilpatrick said she was pleased with the early practical outcome from the review of the local search and rescue capability.

“This is a good example of close cooperation between the Cayman Islands and UK governments,”  she said.

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Category: Local News

Comments (24)

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  1. Wishful Thinking says:

    Fire department this….Fire department that. Why is it that this is the only government department that gets so much attention, credit and new equipment so often. Why are these new boats and wave runners not going straight to the RCIPS Marine Unit or the Joint Marine Unit? You’ve got to be kidding me! What in the hell? CIFS has a $250,000 rescue boat that is hardly used now, and they need more equipment to do WHAT, do so much “search and rescue” right. Last time I checked it is the Marine Units out there searching for people, which thankfully isn’t all that often. This is all fine and dandy but search and rescue takes careful thought out planning and precision. One does not simply just learn all of the skills in a couple of days. I wouldn’t trust these people to even throw a rope straight if I needed saving. Oh well, more equipment to be destroyed.

    By the way, while we are on the topic of the Fire Department…. I would really like to know the “findings” into the “investigation” that must still be ongoing, (because I personally haven’t seen anything released yet) into why a Fire Resuce Vehicle was crashed into a CUC light pole and hit a cyclist that put the cyclist in the hospital. Answers Please and Thank You!




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    • Veritas says:

      1.51am You need to be patient, remember how long it took to come up with an explanation for the rollover of the fire truck at the Brac airport, so long that certain bolts started rusting!.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    Can any of these fire fighters actually swim, and exactly what maritime search and rescue experience do any of them have?
    Cutting local idiots out of smashed and overturned Hondas doesn’t qualify them for rescues on the water.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Remember the head if that department is imported. Those firemen are exactly what they are FIREMEN. They have no navigational or co-ordinational skills, so why push them head long into such a situation? And the greatest blunder is having an unqualified individual train them to us the rescue wave runners. What the hell these people are smoking?




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    • Anonymous says:

      wtf u smoking? if firefighters can swim????




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  3. Anonymous says:

    Whilst any marine rescue asset is to be welcomed, why are the Fire Service once again getting equipment that is urgently needed by other services. Are they that hard up for things to do on land that they need to go out on the water to justify their existence?
    Whilst other marine based agencies, with a huge amount of local knowledge and skill, put up with old and unfit for purpose equipment, the new boy on the block gets a handout.
    Our Port Authority needs more manpower and boats to protect shipping and renew and repair bouyage. Our DoE needs boats to protect our natural marine environment from criminal poachers and irresponsible boaters, both private and commercial. Our Police Service needs a properly manned and equipped Marine Unit to protect or borders and enforce the marine laws around Cayman.
    What do we get instead, yet another boat for the Fire Service who have absolutely no idea how to conduct SAR missions or know our waters well enough to avoid turning this boat into matchwood.
    Why not form a volunteer lifeboat service that calls upon the existing marine assets instead of trying to reinvent the wheel?




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Maybe we can get Bernie to run the boats. From his venomous talk on the radio he wants to be fire chief.

    Bet the boat would last about 30 min under his pathetic leadership.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    New Big Boy Toys!




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  6. AlanP says:

    How long it is going to last in the hands of the Fire service? Remember, rusted bolt was blamed for Brac fire truck crash.

    “I am committed to developing the CIFS into an organization that the citizens and the Government of the Cayman Islands can be proud of.” Fire Chief Mr. Hails

    1.5 years have passed since he said that.

    Oh, and “The police have also received a waverunners”. Hope they would train the rescuers how to safely operate it.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Alan, do you do misery for a living or just this story? ‘Cos, damn you are a cynical b’stard.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Have to say I have had business dealings with the CIFS and they have improved their game to the best in the civil service.




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    • Anonymous says:

      7:22 they are going to be trained to use the equipment by an un qualified expat, who is not certified. Any of those boys could be paid to do the same, but they not quailfied nor are they certified. They never use the certified local who has all the training.
      When are Caymanians going to have a say, for the right reasons?
      Time is the essence to stop this madness. They bring in persons to work in the Marine unit and their first job is to destroy the equipment, ecause the yard were not used to handling such.
      Proof of damages – the disaster when the props were torn off when they were going on the rescue mission of the 5 list at sea last year.




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  7. Anonymous says:

    I think this has been really good that the UK has brought this excercise to Cayman. It not only gives people an insight into what these highly qualified and extremely efficient service men can achieve in times of need, but reassures everyone that the UK is always on standby for any disaster that may occur. It is Caymans choice if we decide we can cope without the aid of the UK.
    I’m sure this exercise was very interesting to watch, and I may say I am so proud to be British. These highly trained serviceman rank above the best in the world. We live, thankfully, in a free democracy and will never experience a communist Government. Let us all be thankful Cayman that we all chose to remain under British rule and not followed in the steps of Jamaica and Belize.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Whilst I agree with the sentiment, never say never as our politicos are not fully professional and frankly capable of anything. Having said that our premier is the least dangerous and even gets things done, but as we saw, only just before the election.




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    • Anonymous says:

      They are good, but I hope we will get more help that what was offered after Ivan 2004.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    I bet my “left nut” that in 6 months time, one or both of them new Yamaha engines would have hit coral heads, tearing off their foot ends and propellors, making them inoperable.

    It is a good idea to have a rescue vessel stationed in West Bay but I have very little confidence in firemen seamanship around the islands.

    Too much panashoals and patches of reef, and no true local knowledge of how to quickly navigate amongst them in an emergency situation.

    The only man I have 100% trust with in navigating fast boats around the Cayman Islands in day or night conditions, is Capt Hugh “King” Bush of the RCIPS marine unit.

    You can’t touch him on the water in just about any rough sea conditions, day or night. Capt Bush in a boat on the water is like having Capt Sullenburger in an aircraft high in our skiies. Both will get you home in one piece and not usually not a scratch on their equipment.




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    • Anonymous says:

      If that is true why hasn’t the legendary Hugh Bush trained the rest of the Muppets who repeatedly destroy equipment?




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      • Anonymous says:

        Because he’s just as bad?




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      • Anonymous says:

        You can’t teach older dogs new tricks……. much less the younger ones who are only interested in money and living life in the fast lane today – that’s why.




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      • Anonymous says:

        8:54am those Muppetts happen to be expats who have no knowledge of our waters and they are SENIOR high paid officers. These are the conversations and discussions that must be had, the Public should be aware of all the devious elements in the government services. Been there and knows much.




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    • Expat says:

      They got one officer. Only they need to bring him back off suspension (4 1/2 yrs now). He actually lnew how to run the boats and he also fixed them and kept them running and knew the admin side too.

      Only problem was he was actually doing his job and making everyone else look bad so they cooked up a plan and put him on leave.

      Guess thats what they want. Why it takes 4 1/2 yrs to deal with something is beyond me.




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      • Anonymous says:

        That is the story of the Civil Service, when you do a great job it shows up everyone else’s incompetence and then they stop at nothing to try and bring you down. Jealousy plain and simple, extra dose of the black crab in the barrel mentality time and time again.




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