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14 take up coast Guard challenge

14 take up coast Guard challenge

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Commander Tyrone James is painfully aware of the vulnerabilities that exist along the Southern Grenadines coastline but the Coast Guard just does not have the manpower and vessels needed to effectively patrol and control the relatively vast area.

“It is a simple matter of economics,” stated Commander James also highlighting the leeward coast as a huge challenge to the Coast Guard. {{more}}

With manpower of seventy five and an inadequate number of vessels, the Coast Guard remains at a great disadvantage in their battle against illegal traders and the illegal drug trade.

“We need at least 75 more men and several more vessels to adequately do our jobs,” said the Commander. He told SEARCHLIGHT that favorable discussions have been held with the Prime Minister on the general need for improvement and development of the Coast Guard.

“I expect things to improve over the next couple of years,” he said optimistically.

There is however some good news for the officers attached to the Union Island base. After operating for quite a while without a vessel, one is expected to be repaired and sent to Union Island in about a month’s time.

Commander James was speaking on the occasion of the graduation Ceremony for the RSS Basic Seamanship Course held at the Coast Guard Base in Calliaqua, last Friday, April 7.

The 14 graduates included two Port Police Officers.

In delivering the feature address, Historian Curtis King reminded the graduates that St. Vincent and the Grenadines has an active volcano, is susceptible to storms and has a wide, largely unprotected Coast, a breeding ground for drug smugglers. He challenged them to take their training and seek to continually improve.

Two graduates that received special mention were Able Seamen Gibron Bailey and Ceon Gordon for academic and practical excellence respectively. The latter is the son of retired Superintendent of Police and current Guardsman Security’s Operations Manager, Cecil Gordon.

Gordon now has four sons following in his huge footsteps in the Police Force.

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