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Regional Maritime Training Program

Friday, April 16–The Regional Maritime Training Co-ordinator (RMTC) Mr. Mike Riley, signed on behalf of the FCO. The MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) covers a new Regional Maritime Training Programme (RMTP) to train Marine Police and Customs Units across the UK Overseas Territories (OTs) in the Caribbean and Bermuda. – His Excellency The Governor David Pearey and, President of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) Dr. Karl Dawson are pleased to announce the signing of an MOU between the college and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) which took place on Thursday 15 April.

The MOU covers a new Regional Maritime Training Programme (RMTP) to train Marine Police and Customs Units across the United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs) in the Caribbean and Bermuda.

The new programme is the result of a review of maritime training carried out across the UKOTs in 2009. The course will run from HLSCC’s Marine Centre, a modern and well equipped facility in the East End of Tortola, and co-ordinated by Mr. Mike Riley, a former Royal Navy Commander. The first course is due to start in April 2010 and the programme will run three courses a year in BVI. The scheme is sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The training programme will include Firefighting, Personal Safety and Social Responsibility, Sea Survival, First Aid, Radio Operation, The Caribbean Boatmaster Syllabus and the Royal Yachting Association Powerboat Syllabus, Search and Rescue, and Interdiction and Boarding Operations. Exams will be taken and certificates of competence issued to internationally recognised standards. The US Coast Guard will also support the training with the assignment of a law enforcement instructor and the planned visit of a coastguard cutter.

The Governor stated that “I am very pleased that we have signed this MOU with HLSCC and that the college’s Marine Centre and the BVI will host the training programme for regional maritime law enforcement agencies. “

The Governor added, “The security and prosperity of the BVI, as well as neighbouring UKOTs and Bermuda, depends to a very large extent on the safety and security of the maritime environment surrounding the islands. Threats to maritime safety and security include accident or incident involving cruise liners, ferries or visiting pleasure craft, and the illegal trafficking of guns, drugs and migrants. Effective policing of territorial waters by marine police and customs units who are well trained and properly qualified, with a reliable search and rescue capability, is essential to counter these threats. I wish the programme all the very best success and I look forward to the launch of the first course on Monday, 26 April.

Dr. Dawson said that, “The agreement is a significant step in increasing the capacity of the HLSCC Marine Centre to provide training to the region. We are pleased to collaborate with the Office of the Governor and with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at the regional level to increase the level of training and certification available to UKOTs’ marine officers. We look forward to a successful programme and expanded opportunities.”

Photo courtesy of GIS. Seated from left: HLSCC President Dr. Karl Dawson, Regional Maritime Training Coordinator (Caribbean UK Overseas Territories and Bermuda, working on behalf of the FCO) Michael Riley; His Excellency Governor David Pearey. Standing from left: Senior Executive Assistant to the President Yvonne Crabbe, Acting Dean of Workforce Training Judith Vanterpool, Vice President of HLSCC Dr. Anne Monroe and Head of the Governor’s Office Sian Evans.


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