August 31, 2010
Coast Guard gets outboard engine training

Members of the Coast Guard are better equipped to maintain outboard engines after participating in a two week programme.{{more}}

The workshop which ran from Monday, August 9 to Friday, August 20, also saw personnel from the Customs and Excise Department, Port Police and the St.Vincent and the Grenadines Cadet Corp participating in the outboard motor maintenance course. The participants numbered 21.

The programme was facilitated by instructors of the mobile training team of the International Training Division of the United States Coast Guard. Team leader Lieutenant Stephen Elliott was joined on this mission by Damage Controlman First Class Erik Elasia and Machinery Technician Second Kealii Aipia.

“It was very successful. We had a range of different backgrounds. Some people had a fair amount of experience; some people had no experience.

We were able to start with the basics and build on that,” said Elliott, noting that the participants got the opportunity to diagnose problems and perfom maintenance techniques. He said they also received the opportunity to understand the theory of how engines work.

The programme covered the differences between two and four stroke engines and computer diagnostics where participants got the opportunity to understand the diagnostic software which allows them to see inside an engine’s computer.

Elliot said almost all new outboard engines that are ordered now come with a computer.

“Without knowing how to interact with the computer you’re very limited in what you can do to maintain your engine,” said Elliott.

Elliott said his organization has done several training programmes in the Caribbean, but they have not been to St.Vincent and the Grenadines for a very long time.

“Given the enthusiasm and the sharpness in the students, I think the future is very bright for the SVG Coast Guard and it was a pleasure for us to come and work with such enthusiastic students and enjoy the hospitality of such a wonderful island,” said Elliott.