May 10, 2021

The Editor Speaks: Ship wanted. One up for sale

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In today’s iNews Cayman we have published two articles about ships:

“Jamaica, T&T to acquire relief ship”

“RMS St Helena goes up for sale”

In the first story, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that discussions have been held with his counterpart in Trinidad and Tobago about co-sponsoring a ship that will provide relief to Caribbean nations during times of emergencies.

In the second, St Helena Line has announced from July 2016, the passenger and cargo Royal Mail Ship St Helena will be removed from service. The RMS St Helena is intended for sale and London ship broker CW Kellock & Co Ltd has already been appointed to oversee the sale of the RMS.

Both stories were sent to us by local lawyer and writer, Peter Polack. I asked him if he knew something I didn’t? That the stories are connected? The RMS St Helena is being sold to Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago?

Polack laughed.

“It just appears to me if UK has to bring a relief ship all the way from the Mediterranean (HMS Ocean) an onsite Caribbean based relief ship is an excellent idea.”

I agree with him. Maybe some people with more authority than the two of us will consider the options…

Polack didn’t just leave it at that. He concluded:

“Some facts:
1. The UK does not have a permanent naval or military base in the Caribbean, many territories, no bases.
2. The hullabaloo over the SMB practice was to naught as RFA Mounts Bay could not land equipment in Anguilla.

“If we were a US dependent, Guantanamo Naval Base assets could be deployed to us in a matter of hours for ANY emergency.”

I am NOT, incidentally, making a case that the Cayman Islands leave the “protection” of the British Government to go under the hammer of the US Government. That would be like leaving the frying pan for the fire. It was an observation, and a true one, that Polack made.

I cannot agree with Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, that the UK response to the Hurricane disasters in the Caribbean was swift. It was known for many days before that the islands were going to be hit with what was obvious to all – CATASTROPHIC DAMAGE! It seemed to most observers that nothing had been put in place BEFORE the disaster.

One Royal Navy ship patrolling all the British territories in the Caribbean can hardly be enough to cope with the inevitable carnage that was going to happen. And no amount of postulating by government officials is going to change my opinion.

I well remember the response by some UK Members of Parliament to our own predicament after Hurricane Ivan. They did not care!

With global warming giving us unheard of before category 5 hurricanes there is a lot of merit to the purchase of a ship that will provide relief to Caribbean nations during times of emergencies.

Perhaps the British Government might like to join forces or buy the RMS St Helena………

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  1. […] Source: Cayman Eye News In today’s iNews Cayman we have published two articles about ships: “Jamaica, T&T to acquire relief ship” “RMS St Helena goes up for sale” In the first story, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that discussions have been held with his counterpart in Trinidad and Tobago about co-sponsoring a ship… Link: The Editor Speaks: Ship wanted. One up for sale […]

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