Marine base to cost $9M

When plans for a new marine base in Grand Cayman were announced earlier this month, government leaders said $5 million had been set aside for the project.

But Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts said last week the total cost of the base would actually be closer to $9 million.

Mr. Tibbetts said construction of the marine base itself would be just part of the entire cost. He said the price of four new police and customs patrol boats, spare parts, and vehicles also need to be factored in.

‘I believe the investment in these facilities is vital for protecting our coastlines and ensuring quick access for our emergency response teams,’ he said.

The base, which will be located in Newlands at the northern end of Hirst Rd., would be used by Cayman Islands police, customs, and immigration officers. Construction is expected to be complete by early 2008.

Royal Cayman Islands Police Superintendent Mike Needham previously told the Caymanian Compass that police patrol boats are normally docked on the far western side of the North Sound near Governor’s Harbour.

He agreed the location of the new marine base on the south-eastern side of the sound will help speed police and medical response in case boating or watersports accidents occur.

A new boat ramp in the George Town Barcadere is also planned to allow police and medical crews closer access to local hospitals if a patient is brought in from the North Sound.

Two visitors to the Cayman Islands have died this year after watersports-related accidents. One of those victims was a 71-year-old man who was found floating in the North Sound waters near the Sandbar.

The RCIPS said ten deaths in the islands last year involved people who were either snorkeling or diving. The exact cause of those deaths has not yet been determined by a coroner’s jury.