Police chopper to help in TCI migrant crisis

| 01/12/2021 | 17 Comments
Cayman News Service
RCIPS H145 Helicopter

(CNS): One of the RCIPS H145 helicopters and its crew have been deployed to the Turks and Caicos Islands to support the police there with a worsening migrant crisis in the islands. Seven undocumented Haitians drowned Monday night after a vessel carrying a large number of migrants collided with a TCI marine patrol boat trying to intercept it, and several people fell in the water.

The local police are conducting a search and rescue operation because there were well over 60 people aboard the boat when it was hit by the official vessel. According to official reports from TCI on Tuesday, 64 migrants had been rescued from the water by the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Marine Branch Unit

TCI is one of several islands in the Caribbean region dealing with desperate migrants leaving Haiti as that nation’s criminal, economic and political problems mount.

The deployment of the Cayman-based chopper is the first of two deployments, each lasting two weeks, requested by the Turks and Caicos government. They are being funded by the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office as part of the MOU between Cayman and the UK to support disaster management and security in the British Overseas Territories.

Since it now has two helicopters, the RCIPS Air Operations Unit will still be able to continue its primary domestic functions here.

This is the first time the AOU has operated the two helicopters simultaneously in different countries, following on from previous successful deployments in other jurisdictions: in 2017 to TCI after Hurricane Irma, in 2018 to TCI for security patrols with the Royal Navy RFA Mounts Bay, and in 2019 to the Bahamas to assist after Hurricane Dorian.

“Cayman has a long and proud record of supporting neighbouring overseas territories and countries,” Governor Martyn Roper said, adding that the TCI does not have the benefit of their own helicopters to provide air support of this nature. “I am very grateful to the team who volunteered for this assignment just before Christmas. I wish them every success in their work.”

Premier Wayne Panton said he was pleased that the Cayman government could show the people of Turks and Caicos “some CaymanKind”, a release from the RCIPS stated.

“It is always wonderful to be able to assist when our sister British Overseas Territories are in need,” he said. “We are in a very fortunate position to be able to lend our support. We know that TCI would reciprocate if we found ourselves in need.”

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Category: Caribbean, World News

Comments (17)

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  1. Dingbat says:

    Sounds like the TCI Marine Patrol Unit was over zealous in it’s “interception”.

  2. South Sounder says:

    What an utter waste of time and money.

  3. E. Benedict says:

    Yes – by all means let’s help crush those poor people trying to flee the crippling poverty that western colonization has brought upon them.

    How dare they pursue ours and our neighbours “god given” resources like fresh water and electricity.

    Crush them all, with the night of the RCIPS and show them the power of the all mighty buck.

    God save the queen.

    • Anonymous says:

      8:14 Please do elaborate as to how the situation in Hati is our fault or the fault of western society as a whole? One could argue that the problems in Haiti are caused by a series of elected corrupt officials. But by all means, put your money where your mouth is. Send your hard-earned dollar to help these people. Dollars that I might add you have been able to earn because we live in western capitalist society. But hey communism is great no? Let’s ask Cuba, China, and Russia just how much they loveeeee it

      • Anonymous says:

        I think you need to do a little reading on the matter.
        The French stripped all the resources and then the yanks put on the fuel embargo.
        It completely devastated the economy to a point it could never recover.

        • Anonymous says:

          If you expand your reading you will get to the debt forgiveness bit, and the fact that subsequent Haitian politicians continued to rip off their own people long after any attempts were made to repay debt.

          • Anonymous says:

            6:27 I’m glad someone did their reading. Also, last time I checked Cayman is neither French nor American so not entirely sure of your argument here 7:24?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Remind me again why it was so urgent for Daggaro to bulldoze the forest and fill the crawl.

  5. Gray Matter says:

    What use is the Helicopter if it’s NOT here on the Island for EMERGENCIES, What’s the flying time from TCI to LITTLE CAYMAN. THEY WERE PURCHASED FOR STANDBY TRANSPORTATION FOR CAYMAN . Now we are in the copter rental business.
    Is TCI paying overall costs per hour involved in maintaining this helicopter.

    • Anonymous says:

      Read the article properly…we have 2 choppers in Cayman and part of agreements with UK government who fund to buy another chopper and we must help other Islands. The trip they took is paid by UK government.

    • Anonymous says:

      THERE ARE TWO!! In capitals as you missed the point in the article.

  6. Anonymous says:

    But can’t catch offenders at bars in Cayman.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is something the Cayman Islands should be vey proud of. Well done to the Air Operations Unit! You have come a very long way and time and time again, proven the need and worth of the helicopters.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Well done.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Maybe they can bring some of our tourists and investors back with them when they come.

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