Representatives from the RBPF Marine Unit, the USCG and DEA participate in joint law enforcement exchange on Grand Bahama.
Freeport, Bahamas - U.S. Coast Guard
(USCG) Cutter Cormorant, an 87 foot coastal patrol boat based out of Ft.
Pierce, Florida, visited Freeport this past weekend to
participate in two international exchanges between the United States and
The Bahamas. The first engagement on Saturday, August 17th, involved a
joint search and rescue (SAR) exercise with Bahamas Air-Sea Rescue
Association (BASRA). The second exercise on Sunday, August 18th,
focused on maritime law enforcement and included officials from the
Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) Marine Unit, the USCG, and the U.S.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
USCGC Cormorant is assigned to
Coast Guard Sector Miami and performs a myriad of law enforcement and
search and rescue missions in the Florida Straits.
U.S. and Bahamian law enforcement officers participate in training exercises onboard the USCG Cutter Cormorant.
The search and rescue activity with BASRA coincided with their 43rd
annual Bernie Butler Swim Marathon, BASRA’s largest fundraiser of the
year. Taking place near Freeport in waters off Coral Beach, the
scenario involved the rescue of a person in the water by the cutter’s
small boat and the “victim’s” subsequent transfer to the cutter for
further care. The so-called victim was in fact Mr. Michael Malone, Vice
Chairperson for BASRA’s Grand Bahama chapter, who was afforded an up
close and personal demonstration of USCG SAR procedures and
capabilities. Since BASRA and the USCG are so closely partnered on
matters concerning safety of life at sea, this engagement represented a
very valuable interaction between the two organizations.
two RBPF Marine Unit vessels (including its newly commissioned 41 foot
Apostle SAFE boat) joined the Cormorant at its berth in Freeport Harbour
to participate in a joint maritime law enforcement exchange. In total,
nine members of the RBPF, two DEA members and the Cormorant’s crew of
eleven participated in a daylong session dedicated to the exchange of
information and procedures related to shipboard law enforcement tactics
and techniques. Topics of discussion included methods to detect hidden
compartments designed for smuggling contraband, radio communications,
and proper vessel boarding and search techniques. The day’s activities
were viewed by all participants as incredibly beneficial and informative
as well as an outstanding opportunity to get to know one another and
strengthen international partnerships.
The Coast Guard, BASRA and the RBPF intend to capitalize upon the momentum generated by this past weekend’s visits to plan
and execute even more robust exchanges in the near future, which
ultimately will serve to improve each agency’s overall interoperability
An RBPF Marine Unit vessel participates in the joint maritime law enforcement exchange in waters off Grand Bahama.
U.S. and Bahamian law enforcement officers participate in exercises onboard the USCG Cormorant.