Cayman’s first class of Coast Guard recruits has graduated and will now serve as special constables, pending the formalisation of the legislative framework for the country’s newest law enforcement body.
The sixteen young Caymanians made history on 12 March, concluding their eight-week recruitment training, with a commencement ceremony held at Pedro St. James.
Coast Guard Commandant Robert Scotland, speaking on the next steps for the recruits said, “Having completed basic training, the recruits will undergo a probationary period of 12 months during which they will be expected to further develop their seamanship knowledge as well as gain further exposure in the various elements of maritime law enforcement”.
After successfully completing their probation period, the recruits will then be allocated the rank of Ordinary Seaman / Ordinary Deck Hand, of the Cayman Islands Coast Guard.
Lieutenant Commander Leo Anglin commended the recruits for sticking with the intense training.
He said the recruit class commenced training on the 4 Jan. under the instruction of Petty Officer Dwight Hunter, PC Adrian Clarke of the Joint Marine Unit, and Able-Bodied Seaman Kevin Alleyne, all of whom “trained the 16 young individuals with the view of developing them into capable sailors.”
The all-Caymanian recruit class comprised six females and 10 males between the age of 18 and 33.
Recruit Anthony Clark, in his address on the recruit experience, said, “We have been stretched, pushed beyond our limits, and finally tested beyond what we all thought was mentally and physically possible. As a result of our training, we are all now mentally sharp, physically strong and morally sound”.
Premier Alden McLaughlin, speaking at the commencement ceremony, welcomed the movement forward for the new entity.
“Those of you who have been given the designation of Coast Guard Recruit are now part of an organization that I and my Government promised would be established within our elected term, and while there are still areas to be further developed, I am extremely proud to see that we have been able to successfully recruit and train 16 young Caymanians who eagerly answered the call to serve, and follow in the maritime tradition of these beloved Isles,” McLaughlin said.
Recruit Melicia Ebanks receive a Commonwealth rescue award from the Royal Life Saving Society, Canada, BC, and Yukon Branch (RLSSC) during the ceremony after she rescued a young girl from the bottom of a pool in March 2019 and performed CPR to resuscitate her.
Ebanks received two framed certificates and a silver medal for bravery which had been presented in her absence at the RLSSC BC/Yukon Branch Rescue and Bravery Awards 7 March, 2020 in Vancouver, Canada.
During his remarks at the commencement ceremony, Governor Martyn Roper congratulated the recruits: “These young people are now adding to the rich maritime heritage of these islands and in true Caymanian spirit have chosen “service before self” as they commit to ensuring the maritime security of these beautiful islands”.
The recruits, a Cayman Islands Coast Guard statement said, will provide much needed support to the existing RCIPS JMU in the areas of maritime search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, and ensuring the safety and security of our borders.
“As we are awaiting the passage of our Coast Guard Law, our recruits will be sworn in as Special Constables and given certain restricted powers of a constable in order that they may legally assist with the enforcement of laws in the maritime domain,” it added.
- Tevin Crawford – Poseidon Award (Best Academic Performance throughout Basic Seamanship training).
- Christopher McTaggart – Neptune Award (Consistently high standard of physical endurance & performance throughout Basic Seamanship Training).
- Jessica Smith – Mark Luke Memorial Award (Tenacity and resilience throughout basic seaman training).
- Leanni Tibbitts – Leeland Scott Memorial Award (Demonstrated leadership amongst fellow peers throughout seamanship training).
- Anthony Clarke- Best All-Round Recruit (Best All-around recruit throughout basic seamanship training).
- Melicia Ebanks – Special Award recipient of the Commonwealth rescue awards from the Royal Life Saving Society, Canada, BC, and Yukon Branch (RLSSC).