April 12, 2021

Cayman Islands Coast Guard Recruits Commencement Ceremony

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Sixteen young Caymanians made history last Friday, March 12th, 2021 having successfully concluded their recruitment training in a Commencement Ceremony held at Pedro St. James. After a series of eight weeks of intense training sessions, the 16 recruits were selected to continue on the process to become the Caymans Islands’ first Coast Guard (CICG) Recruits. 

Speaking on the training and recruitment process Lieutenant Commander Leo Anglin stated, “Recruit class 01 commenced training on the 4th January 2021, under the instruction of Petty Officer Dwight Hunter, PC Adrian Clarke of the Joint Marine Unit, and Able-Bodied Seaman Kevin Alleyne, who trained the 16 young individuals with the view of developing them into capable sailors. Recruit Class 01 consisted of 6 females and 10 males between the ages of 18 and 33, ALL of whom are Caymanian.”

“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,” noted Recruit Anthony Clark in his address on the recruit experience on behalf of the Recruit Class.

During the ceremony some recruits received awards for performance during training:

  1. Anthony Clarke- Best All-Round Recruit (Best All-around recruit throughout basic seamanship training).
  2. Tevin Crawford – Poseidon Award (Best Academic Performance throughout Basic Seamanship training).
  3. Christopher McTaggart – Neptune Award (Consistently high standard of physical endurance & performance throughout Basic Seamanship Training).
  4. Jessica Smith – Mark Luke Memorial Award (Tenacity and resilience throughout basic seaman training).
  5. Leanni Tibbitts – Leeland Scott Memorial Award (Demonstrated leadership amongst fellow peers throughout seamanship training).
  6. Melicia Ebanks – Special Award recipient of the Commonwealth rescue awards from the Royal Life Saving Society, Canada, BC, and Yukon Branch (RLSSC).

In his remarks at the Commencement Ceremony Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin noted, “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.”

His Excellency the Governor Martyn Roper congratulated the recruits, adding, “I was very proud to attend the Commencement Ceremony for 16 young Caymanians which marked the completion of ten weeks vigorous and intense basic training needed to become a member of the Cayman Islands Coast Guard. 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 UK supported the Cayman Islands Coastguard through Royal Navy training and a secondment.”

Speaking on the next steps for the recruits Commandant Robert Scotland noted, “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 this probationary period, the recruits will then be allocated the rank of Ordinary Seaman / Ordinary Deck Hand, of the Cayman Islands Coast Guard. 

These recruits 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.”

The members of the Cayman Islands Coast Guard Recruit Class 01 are as follows: Anthony Clarke, Arianna Wheeler Seijas, Cameron Seymou, Christopher McTaggart, Drevon Manderson, Ericka Rockett-McBean, Jessica Smith, La-Torae Nixon, Leanni Tibbetts, Liam Kay, Maleke Ebanks, Matthew Scott, Melicia Ebanks, Talmage Bodden Thompson, and Tevin Crawford

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