September 2, 2011
SVG Coastguard 2011 Summer Programme ends

The curtains came down on the 2011 St Vincent and the Grenadines Sagicor/Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines Coastguard Youth Development Summer Program on Saturday, August 27, at the Coastguard base in Calliaqua.{{more}}

The program, now into its 18th year, began on July 11 and concluded on August 18, with 124 teenagers participating in a number of courses.

Some of these courses included: Seamanship, leadership development, navigation, conflict resolution, boat handling, safety at sea, personal development, fisheries conservation, craft, and many more.

Delivering welcome remarks, Acting Commander of the Coastguard, Lieutenant Deon Henry highlighted that the program is geared towards sensitising young people between the ages of 14 and 18 to the many problems and challenges they may face and to provide them with information and necessary tools to make positive decisions regarding their lives.

It is Henry’s hope that the program will impact positively on the participants and the choices they make in the future.

To date, 1,734 students have passed through the Coastguard’s summer program.

During the ceremony, the participants were awarded with medals, trophies and certificates, while some students performed dance pieces.

Delivering his address, Commissioner of Police Keith Miller emphasised the importance of having such programs. “This program is not just by chance. This is part of the police’s strategy of community based policing,” Miller noted.

He said some of the officers attached to the Coastguard are some of the best trained. He noted that some officers are currently receiving training in the United States, while some are pursuing legal studies in the United Kingdom.

Miller also mentioned that Commander of the Coastguard Brenton Caine is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica.

“I am saying this to show you that persons at the Coastguard base, we are getting them ready for the role they have to play,” Miller stated.

He further encouraged the young participants to take the training they receive seriously, and to question things that that are outside of certain disciplines they were taught.

Stanley Browne, representative of Sagicor, and Lidia Stephens of the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines, formerly the National Commercial Bank, also delivered brief remarks and urged the children to put into practice what they have learned at the program.

Chief Petty Officer Vinton John also delivered brief remarks.