UK to survey and map Cayman’s sea bed

| 21/12/2017 | 25 Comments
Cayman News Service

UKHO chartered survey boats

(CNS): Government has revealed that British officials visited the Cayman Islands in May to lay the groundwork for the UK’s Overseas Territories Seabed Mapping Programme to undertake a survey of the local sea bed, which is now underway. A release from the governor’s office said this exercise was to produce accurate “navigation charts and guides, improving access for trade and tourism related industries and enabling a wider range of ships to safely call at the islands”. There is no indication however, if it will inform the government’s proposed, controversial cruise port project. 

The Hydrographic Office has chartered two boats to survey the waters off Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac, according to the release, which said the final information would assist in “infrastructure planning and development, improving resilience against forces of nature, and helping the Cayman Islands meet their international maritime obligations, including the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention and elements of the Implementation of the IMO Instruments Code (IIIC)”.

Ian Davies, the International Hydrographic Programme manager at UKHO, explained why such a project was necessary. “A good understanding of the ocean is increasingly important in continuing to help island territories realise their economic potential within their marine Exclusive Economic Zone, and for supporting disaster management and resilience against forces of nature,” he said.

“As Primary Charting Authority for the Cayman Islands, this programme gives the UKHO the chance to systematically survey the waters surrounding the islands, helping to ensure the territory is fulfilling its international maritime obligations,” Davies added.

Over three weeks, the high-resolution surveys will capture bathymetric information or seafloor features and depths as well as tidal observations; tidal stream measurements will also be taken. The project is being funded through the UK government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF).

During the May visit the officials met with the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands (MACI), the Department of Environment and the Port Authority and identified a range of activities and requirements which determined the priority areas that will be assessed during the current survey.

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Category: Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (25)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    With credible reports of Russians and Chinese having created parasitic “robots” both in space and underwater to listen-in and/or sabotage Communications Satellites and International Submarine Fibre Optic cables, this is probably a reasonable idea. All major navies are pushing into unmanned “robot” electric submersibles, including underwater inductive recharging technology that the Cayman Islands might be strategically optimal for. I suspect this will be a more exhaustive and sophisticated mapping exercise than the one done after Ivan. It should be.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Are they chartering the 2 Port Authority (Government) boats?

  3. Anonymous says:

    But didn’t the DoE do just this a few years ago? They got a new boat and named it after a local lady if I remember correctly.

  4. Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

    Go right to that place you mention, the Glass House, and make your request known at the front desk! LOL.

  5. Big Day skipper says:

    Its a real shame what is left of the marine unit so called captains and foreign shallow water experts who failed to turn up for rescues have to rely on staged intercepts to get headline grabbing minor bust less than 200lbs. While well connected overseas traffickers in the drug smuggling arena go on unhindered and undetered throwing their misguided loyal police sources a feel good bone now and then, to make them look good like they are winning the war on guns and drugs. The robberies and level gun violence and undocumented dangerous criminals tell us a different story however, and highlight just how unprotected our borders are these days. Yes and now our saviours have come up with a solution and plan to save us from our dire situation at 10 times the cost now . When they could have built on the successes of the former unit instead of letting it be destroyed by their own little controlled minions and pest.What a shame Cayman yet we must not hate the players Cayman just the sick very expensive games that are constantly being played on this overseas territory.

    • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

      What the hell has your rant about the underfunded and understaffed Marine Unit got to do with a hydrographic survey? You smoking some of the stuff that got through?

      • wawa says:

        you are sooo right 10.35, he must of found some of that old gangra mixed with coconut oil that he patrol boat missed, took a whif and blew his head top off, cause it sounds like a man with no brains writing.

  6. Wipeout Sea Centipee says:

    Here we go again re inventing the wheel this should say updating the current charts as this was done in 1989 updated in 1993 1997 1998 and 2002 by Rear Admiral J.A.L Myres FRICS Hydrographer for the Navy. From A Coastal Survey standpoint the DTF Marine unit under ACC Bruce Smith now ACIO at the Cayman Islands Immigration Department carried out a comprehensive aerial land and sea mapping program in 2001-2003 for all islands as far as our obligations the old DTF marine unit and UK officials met here at the old Hyatt Hotel conference room where detail Law of the Sea rules were implemented and explained. But i guess that information and training records must have been all lost in Hurricane Ivan or the Big Police data loss 2013-14. As far as tidal and drift patterns were also part of these surveys which were gleaned from the numerous highly dangerous and outstanding SAR operations carried out by them around these islands. The failures and gaps we unfortunately see now are a direct result of the deliberate disruption and dismantling of that unit and its leadership by certain very highly placed govt/political and criminally corrupt elements that to this day remain intact and still in that area of law enforcement.

    • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

      You know what you are writing about, unlike most posters on this site unfortunately, and I aint gonna argue with you. The degradation of the Marine Unit did not just happen, but has been systematic and relentless. Security responsibility lies with the Governor’s office, NOT elected by the Caymanian people, or accountable to them! What can we ever expect?

  7. Anonymous says:

    see if north korean nuclear testing did any damage??

  8. He says:

    Looking for gold ole greedy ones?

  9. Anonymous says:

    I’d like to survey the queen’s bottom, where do I sign up?

  10. West bay Premier says:

    This is going to be very useful for drug and guns smuggling for everyone that haven’t been to Cayman Islands before . I agree that the Cayman Islands needs to have the navigational system updated but I think that the Islands are faced with bigger problems.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)? Hey, Govn’r, that mean we’re going to get an EEZ now? (set out in local legislation, extending Cayman jurisdiction beyond the horizon.)

  12. philip says:

    Hopefully the final report will point out the poor standard of maintenance of our channel Markers, which in-itself is a liability for the government .

  13. Anonymous says:

    I hope while they are mapping they don’t take out and carry away the thousands of tons of copper that is located in the tunnels at the drop off. I understand it is very hot so I guess no one can get that close. If it can be removed we want our share!!


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