Marine cops train with navy

| 21/06/2009

(CNS): Cayman’s own law enforcement authorities were working alongside both the British Navy and the Jamaican Defence Force Coast Guard recently when they took part in a multi-agency training exercise. The joint Customs, Immigration and Police Marine Unit tested their ability to intercept suspect vessels and carry out search and rescue operations. Led by Chief Inspector Courtney Myles, the officers travelled to Port Royal in Jamaica aboard the 65-foot Cayman Guardian where they met with the Jamaican Coast Guard and Largs Bay of the RFA (Royal Fleet Auxillary).

During the exercise information passed to the agencies that a suspect boat was in an area some 20 miles north of Montego Bay. The Marine Unit and the Coast Guard were given some vague coordinates and were instructed to locate and intercept the vessel at their best speed. Officers decided to deploy air support to obtain an accurate location of the vessel – a decision which resulted in a precise location being identified. A joint take down commenced following a short pursuit with the suspect vessel.

“This really highlighted to us the huge benefits of using air support,” said Chief Inspector Courtney Myles. “Had we not deployed the helicopter, we would not have gained an accurate location of the vessel and we would have spent a great amount of time searching for it – chances are we may never have found it.”

The team was then informed that a package had been discarded into the water by those on the suspect vessel and they were tasked with locating it. After a brief search the package was recovered.

Nest the agencies were instructed to locate a man who had fallen overboard and ensure he received medical attention. The man was found approximately seven miles away and received the necessary treatment from staff of RFA Largs Bay and the Jamaican Coast Guard. During the debrief after the exercise, the Commander of Largs Bay, Captain Trevor J Isles said how impressed he was with the performance of the Jamaican Coast Guard and the Maine Unit, bearing in mind that this was the first exercise of its kind. He stated that he would pass on the success of the venture to other Navy ships so that future exercises can be carried out when vessels are in the area.

“Aside from putting our skills to the test, this was an excellent opportunity to make connections and build relationships with officers from our partner agencies,” Myles added. “When we have live situations occurring, these relationships are invaluable.”

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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  1. Sir Henry Morgan says:

    Great news, maybe now that they have been trained they wont be damaging their boats as often.