First meeting for new search and rescue working group

The inaugural meeting of the UK’s Caribbean Overseas Territories and Bermuda Search and Rescue Working Group has been held in Miami.

The Working Group, which has been funded through the United Kingdom’s Conflict Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) had representatives from Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands and the United Kingdom all attend.

The group was created after a mutual understanding that working collaboratively would benefit all its members due to the complex nature of search and rescue within the region, caused by geographical and environmental challenges, and limited access to search and rescue assets.

It has allowed members to review working relationships, promote the exchange of information, expertise, technical assistance and best practice. Members will be able develop common procedures in line with international standards and enhance search and rescue preparedness and response across borders throughout the Caribbean and North Atlantic region.

Robert Scotland, Commander Cayman Islands Coast Guard said: ‘The working group has provided us with a platform to work together, share operational principles and procedures that will ensure cross boarder partnership working. It is so important that within the region we continue to work closely together to provide the best possible search and rescue response we can.

Phil Bostock, Commander HM Coastguard said: ‘The inaugural meeting has highlighted how working together and being willing to collaborate, will enable the UK’s Caribbean Overseas Territories and Bermuda to succeed in enhancing the regions existing capabilities.’