Radio Cayman engineer helps fix Turks and Caicos broadcast system

Radio Cayman’s senior technician, Dean Bremmer, has returned to Cayman after helping restore the Turks and Caicos Islands’ broadcast system, which was largely destroyed last month by Hurricane Irma.

Mr. Bremmer flew to Turks and Caicos on Sept. 27 as a part of a humanitarian aid mission, according to a press release from Government Information Services.

The engineer said he was “nervous and excited” because the contractor for Radio Turks and Caicos had yet to assess the damage to the network, so he didn’t know the challenge he would be facing.

His first job was to undertake a damage assessment, flying on a U.K. Royal Navy helicopter to three islands to examine Radio Turks and Caicos’ transmitters.

While the network on Grand Turk was still working, transmission on the islands of Providenciales, North Caicos, Middle Caicos and South Caicos were offline.

“What the engineer discovered was quite sobering but unsurprising given the duration and ferocity of the Category 5 weather system,” the press release stated. “The majority of [Radio Turks and Caicos’] antennae and cables were ruined.”

It took a day apiece to repair the transmitters, which were on Providenciales, Middle Caicos and South Caicos.

Mr. Brenner’s most challenging task was to find a way to make the new transmitters broadcast audio. He solved that problem by installing used computers at each site so the transmitters could broadcast Radio Turks and Caicos’ online streaming service, according to the release.

His solution restored radio for the affected areas for the first time in weeks. He was assisted by two riggers from local radio-service firm Avcom Wireless.

Premier Alden McLaughlin praised the humanitarian team for their work.

“Mr. Bremmer has made the Cayman Islands proud as have all of our humanitarian aid staff,” he said. “Their selfless support during this volatile hurricane season has helped thousands of individuals and has further strengthened our ties with other governments within the region.”

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