The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard Service (SVG Coast Guard) was established in 2.12.80. Its motto is “Dedicated to saving Lives”. According to Commander, Mr. Brenton Cain, the SVG Coast Guard has been living up to its motto in a subtle but effective way over the years.
For the first quarter of 2020, the Coast Guard conducted eighteen (18) successful Search and Rescue (SAR) missions in the territorial waters of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). These operations have resulted in the saving of thirty four (34) lives comprising of sixteen (16) nationals and eighteen (18) non-nationals. The non- nationals included two (2) British, one (1) Guyanese, two (2) Barbadians, four (4) St Lucians and nine (9) Grenadians.
Among the SAR missions was the rescuing of two British citizens on the 23rd March, 2020. The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard received a distress message from the International Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Center via Trinidad and Tobago Rescue Co-ordination Center. The report was related to a sailing vessel named “NEMO” that was located at latitude 13˚ 00.24′ North and longitude 062˚21.95′ West, approximately sixty two (62) nautical miles (NM) West of West Cay, Bequia with a broken rudder.
Coast Guard Vessel Captain Hugh Mulzac (SVG 01) was deployed at 0526hrs on Monday 23rd March 2020 in response to the distress report under the command of Lieutenant Commander, Enos Hamlette and crew. The vessel “NEMO” was located at sixty five (65) NM west of Bequia and was taken into tow. Almost twenty fours (24) hours later at 0441hrs on Tuesday morning 24th March the distress vessel was secured in the Villa area. This SAR mission amounted to a round journey of over 120 nautical miles.
In addition, during the first quarter of 2020, the SVG Coast Guard Service also conducted sixteen (16) medical evacuations (Medivac) from the Grenadines. In the month of January, seven (7) patients were evacuated, six (6) from Bequia and one (1) from Union Island. In February, six (6) patients were transported by the Coast guard; four (4) from Bequia, two (2) from Canouan and two (2) from Union Island. For the month of March three (3) patients have been evacuated to date: two (2) from Bequia and one (1) from Canouan.
The SVG Coast Guard Service continues to patrol the waters of St. Vincent and the Grenadines on regular basis to ensure the safety of local and visitors alike.