Officers from the United Kingdom Coastguard arrived in the Cayman Islands this week to review the country’s search and rescue capabilities.

The police came under fire earlier this year when three men and two boys, ages 9 and 11, went missing at sea and emergency searchers did not deploy until the next morning.

The U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency officers plan to be in Cayman for two weeks, working with the police, Fire Service, Customs and Immigration departments.

A statement from the Governor’s Office states the officers will be looking at ways to improve search and rescue operations and better manage incidents and resources.

The Governor’s Office said, “The review will produce a strategy giving clear advice on appropriate policies, procedures, staffing, training and equipment to enhance search and rescue capability in a cost effective and appropriate way.”

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In a written statement, Governor Helen Kilpatrick said, “Operations, equipment and legislation are constantly evolving and the cooperation with the UK MCA will help to ensure that we can keep up to date with developments and ensure seafarers around our islands are as safe as possible.”

Police Commissioner Derek Byrne said, “We welcome the arrival of our colleagues from the MCA, and look forward to their assessment and recommendations as to the kind of search and rescue capabilities the islands should have, the resources required in terms of personnel and equipment, and how all agencies ensuring public safety and border protection can coordinate effectively to manage critical incidents on the water.”

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  1. This is another area where we should not be mean and stingy in; like looking for old parts to patch up our boats and searching for old parts to fix other broken parts. Ever tried sewing old rag to new cloth. People do not realize what a serious job the customs, immigration and marine have when going out on the ocean to do search and rescue. Of course we care about any loved one or tourist who has lost their way at sea but we also need to consider that at times there are difficulties out there that will endanger the lives of or immigration, customs or marine officers. A judgment call has to be made by someone in these instances.