This morning the Governor, Mr John Rankin CMG, visited the Bermuda Coast Guard at Watford House as the unit marks its 50th day of embodiment operations.
The Bermuda Coast Guard is staffed by 19 personnel, drawn from the Bermuda Police Service and the Royal Bermuda Regiment, and is currently operating 24/7 to enforce emergency regulations on the water, ensure mariners are in compliance with Bermuda’s existing maritime laws, and respond to search & rescue incidents up to 12 nautical miles from shore.
The Governor said, “I am hugely impressed by the work being carried out by the Bermuda Coast Guard at this challenging time. In my visit to Watford House I was able to hear first-hand about the work or the unit in ensuring safety at sea and making sure that the current regulations on recreational boating are properly enforced. Watford House is a first class facility from which the Coast Guard is able to operate effectively. I was able to thank the men and women of the Coast Guard for their commitment and dedication to their duty. As we approach boating season I urge everyone to stay safe on the water.”
The Bermuda Coast Guard is currently operating alongside Bermuda Radio, Customs and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Since the end of March it has conducted 469 vessel stops, 4 search & rescue operations, and a number of targeted patrols aimed at combatting illegal fishing. These operations have resulted in a total of 5 arrests, 7 summons, and 117 first warnings to individuals operating vessels in violation of the current regulations.
Inspector David Greenidge (BPS), Office-in-Charge of the Bermuda Coast Guard, said “The launch of the Bermuda Coast Guard is a significant milestone in Bermuda’s maritime history. The unit has proven its worth and its dedication to the mission before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic, and I am pleased to assist in facilitating a continued partnership between the Bermuda Police Service and the Royal Bermuda Regiment as we operate together to ensure the safety and security of Bermuda and those on our waters.”
WO2 Jeffrey Patterson (RBR), Second-in-Charge of the unit, said “I am immensely proud of the men and women of the Bermuda Coast Guard. Their professionalism has been second to none and their levels of commitment and enthusiasm are as high today as they were on day one of the operation. As we move into the main boating season it is important that we all recognise that COVID-19 does not discriminate between those on land and those on the water. Throughout the pandemic, and after Bermuda has arrived at its new normal, the Bermuda Coast Guard will continue to operate in partnership with other government departments and non-governmental organisations to ensure the security of Bermuda’s waters and the safety of the boating public.”
During Phase 1 of the Phased Reopening Plan for Bermuda, only persons who are members of the same household may use a boat for any recreational purposes and up to a maximum of ten persons are permitted on any one boat. Persons are not permitted to tie their boat to another boat (raft-up) and all recreational boating activity is banned between the hours of 7:00pm and 6:00am. The Bermuda Coast Guard will be conducting checks to ensure boaters are in compliance with the emergency regulations and Bermuda maritime laws.