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RTCIPF Urges Sea-goers Responsibility After Marine Branch Search and Rescue Missions

The Marine Branch of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) is issuing a vital call for public responsibility and safety precautions when venturing out at sea, following recent incidents that required search and rescue operations.

On January 26th, 2024, officers received a distress call reporting a fishing vessel with three individuals aboard that had departed from South Caicos en route to Providenciales. Unfortunately, the vessel ran out of fuel in the Moxi Bush area, prompting a response from the Marine Branch. The Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR) provided assistance in the operation.

In separate incidents on Sunday, January 21st, 2024, marine officers responded to distress calls in Providenciales. The first incident occurred at 4:30 pm, involving a vessel with three occupants experiencing difficulties and requiring a tow to the Southbank Marina. Later, at 7:00 pm, officers responded to another distress report south of the Long Bay area, where a vessel with two persons on board was located. Fortunately, all rescued occupants were unharmed.

The RTCIPF confirms that in 2023, the Marine Branch successfully rescued 20 individuals at sea, comprising 16 males and four females.

In light of these incidents, the RTCIPF Marine Branch offers essential Sea Safety Tips:

·  Check the weather and tides: Stay informed about sea conditions before heading out.

· Ensure safety equipment: Have sufficient life jackets, First Aid kits, dry food, and water to sustain you and your team for 24 hours.

· Communication is key, so carry a means of calling for help, such as a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch, a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), or a VHF/DSC radio signaling device.

·  Avoid alcohol: Don't Drink and Boat. Alcohol impairs judgment and decision-making.

·  Share your plans: Have a passage plan and inform someone of your itinerary. If you deviate from the plan or do not return as scheduled, they can raise the alarm.

· Fuel check: Ensure sufficient fuel is in the vessel before departing from shore. Use less than half of your fuel to reach your destination.

The RTCIPF emphasizes the importance of adhering to these safety measures to prevent accidents and facilitate swift responses in emergency situations.


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