Six women are among the first 16 recruits undergoing eight weeks of training to become members of the Cayman Islands Coast Guard.
The recruits, all Caymanians, will undergo a series of training sessions in preparation to build out the Coast Guard, which was formed in 2018 after an amalgamation of the police marine units.
Coast Guard Commander Robert Scotland, in a statement Monday afternoon, said the class is the first of many recruitment drives the entity tasked with search and rescue and maritime security will undergo.
“Our continued mission is to provide the necessary search and rescue operations required on our waters to support the commercial and recreational maritime activity of our local community, enforce the maritime laws of our islands, while also ensuring the safety and security of our borders across the Cayman Islands,” he said.
The 16 recruits, a Coast Guard statement said, were selected after a rigorous summer recruitment drive which started last July. They were among over 300 applications from Caymanians across all three islands vying for a chance to be part of the unit.
Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Leo Anglin said he was pleased with the recruits performance thus far.
“While intense, this eight week training is critical to their successful development. It will ensure that they are equipped with the necessary skills to respond to any maritime needs of our community while ensuring our service is in keeping with the standards of other Coast Guard agencies internationally,” he said.
The overall training programme, the statement said, comprises “academic, physical and water-based training to equip recruits with the necessary engineering tools, maritime law enforcement training and search and rescue skills. Throughout this process, the recruits will be evaluated based on sustainability and skills.”
On Monday, Governor Martyn Roper visited the recruits.
“It was a great pleasure to welcome the men and women who are our new Cayman Islands Coast Guard recruits to our law enforcement family. It was a tough recruitment process and they should all be very proud to have been successful. They now have eight weeks of training ahead in a variety of subjects to prepare them for their careers at sea protecting our borders, keeping our boating community safe and upholding maritime law,” he said.
He said the first recruitment class is an exciting step forward for law enforcement and maritime security on the islands.
“Our new recruits build on Cayman’s long seafaring tradition and heritage. I wish them all the very best in the future,” Roper added in the statement.
If the recruits meet the recruitment and selection criteria for entry into the Cayman Islands Coast Guard by the end of the programme, they will receive the designation of Coast Guard Recruit.
They will then be attached to one of the various operational units within the Coast Guard where they will continue to learn and develop their professional competence and proficiency.
Over the next few weeks, Premier Alden McLaughlin, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson and Commissioner of Police Derek Byrne will also visit and speak to the recruits, as will partner agencies such as Cayman Islands Customs and Border Control, Port Authority of the Cayman Islands and Cayman Islands Fire Service.