The Shiprider Agreement signed between the Turks and Caicos Islands and The Bahamas in 2021, to combat nefarious seafaring activities between the waters of the two countries is beginning to bear fruit.
November 8 marked the initiation of the Shiprider Programme with the sailing of two TCI shiprides on the HMBS Bahamas. The two local shipriders, Police Constable Ernais Ewing of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) and TCI Regiment Marine, Anderson Raphael.
Constable Ewing and Marine Raphael are two of four TCI personnel who received training in July this year in the Bahamas under the agreement.
The two shipriders are scheduled to sail between the period November 9 and 15, in the waters between Bahamas and TCI under the Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos (OPBAT) – Shiprider Agreement.
In December 2021 at the Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos (OPBAT) Conference, which was hosted by the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), the TCI and Bahamas signed a Shiprider Agreement.
The Agreement between The Bahamas and the TCI Government concerning cooperation in Maritime Law Enforcement is in keeping with the existing collaborative framework to strengthen cooperative partnerships in the region. The agreement has established a mechanism for improved border control cooperation for protecting their borders.
The TCI-Bahamas Shiprider Agreement also allows for TCI and Bahamian “shipriders” onto each other’s law enforcement vessels or aircraft. The shiprider can grant authority to assist in the enforcement of TCI law relating to people trafficking, illegal migration, narcotics or firearms trafficking or unregulated fishing.
The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force pointed out that: “This ability to enhance maritime security operations in both Bahamian and TCI waters is a welcomed step in combatting maritime threats and strengthening maritime cooperation.”