Fire Rescue Vessel Launches

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The Fire Service officially unveiled their new fire rescue vessel at the George Town Yacht Club.

Published 21st November 2016, 3:16pm

On Friday (18 November 2016) the Cayman Islands Fire Service (CIFS), officially unveiled its new rescue vessel at the George Town Yacht Club with help from the Ministry of Home Affairs.


The 32-foot rescue boat is equipped with a GPS, flood lights, spot lights and can reach speeds of up to 50 mph. The vessel can accommodate a crew of seven people, and has six inflatable rescue rafts on board that can hold up to 300 people.


Acting Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dwight Rankin welcomed all attendees to the event. Fire Officer Jon Mikol Rankin gave the opening prayer and remarks were made by the Premier and Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Alden McLaughlin, Ministry of Home Affairs Acting Chief Officer Vinton Chinsee and Chief Fire Officer David Hails.


“In purchasing the vessel, the Cayman Islands Government is upholding its promise to provide the necessary equipment to plan and deploy life-saving missions when needed as quickly as possible,” the Premier stated in his remarks.


He added, “Firefighters go to work each day not knowing exactly what dangers or risks they may face. But they go willingly with a spirit of duty to their fellow man. We, as a government, owe it to them to provide the tools they need to protect the public and themselves.”


Chief Fire Officer David Hails said the boat will be instrumental in water related rescue missions, and will increase the ability of the Fire Service to respond to an emergency with greater speed.


"All three islands will benefit from the purchase of this boat as other boats will be moved around to provide an increased water rescue capability at each location,” he explained. “I am very pleased we can provide this type of safety and service to throughout the country, and I would like to thank the Ministry and Government for making it possible to purchase the boat.”


Chief Hails noted the new rescue boat has already been put to good use, when three fire officers went from testing it to performing a rescue mission for a group of passengers stranded on a boat in the North Sound earlier this month.


“Having a boat on hand that can respond in minutes might help save persons in similar situations in the future,” he said.


I thank all those involved in that daring rescue and I appreciate the fact that this new vessel stood up to the test. It has proven its mettle,” the Premier added.


Acting Chief Officer Chinsee said, “The Ministry, in conjunction with the Premier, deemed it a priority to equip our firefighters with the necessary equipment, and with the support of Cabinet, the Ministry plans to continue to equip public safety officers with the tools they need.”


Deputy Governor Hon. Franz Manderson attended the event. Also present were representatives from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, Her Majesty’s Prison Service, Department of Immigration, Department of Customs, Department of Public Safety Communications and Cayman Islands Health Services Authority’s Emergency Medical Services Department.


The new vessel was custom built by Connor Industries in Ontario, Canada, with a price tag just under $200,000.