Coast Guard Hosts Eastern Caribbean Search and Rescue Conference

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (PADET San Juan) – The Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary and the U.S. Southern Command will be hosting the Eastern Caribbean Search and Rescue Conference, with representation from 22 Caribbean nations beginning Tuesday and ending Thursday at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico.

A search and rescue demonstration with a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter and a Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action (F.U.R.A.) marine unit is scheduled to take place Tuesday starting at 4:30 p.m. and ending prior to 5 p.m. in waters just off the Isla Verde beach and behind the Inter-Continental Hotel. We advise the media and the general public that this planned demonstration is part of the Eastern Caribbean Search and Rescue Conference and not a real emergency or cause for concern or alarm.

The conference is directed to Caribbean Coast Guards, maritime police and naval forces, and other government agencies and volunteer search and rescue organizations from each participating nation.

“This conference is a unique and great opportunity for us to work periodically sharing information and best practices with our partner nations, including federal and local agencies in Puerto Rico and the Eastern Caribbean as we work to improve our search and rescue techniques, procedures, and technologies for the benefit of regional mariners,” said Capt. Eduardo Pino, Sector San Juan Commander.

“This conference gives us the opportunity to collectively improve our utilization of new techniques and technologies in maritime search and rescue operations in the Caribbean by working with volunteer organizations alongside the search and rescue services from within each nation,” said John Cooper, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, International Affairs Division Chief.

Discussions will also include updates from Search and Rescue organizations across the Caribbean region, search and rescue case studies, lessons learned and best practices, as well as a wide range of break-out sessions covering topics ranging from the latest search and rescue technologies to programs to improve boating safety and search and rescue planning and execution, cooperation and interoperability in the region.

The conference will also provide a forum to share information and assist those nations which do not have a volunteer search and rescue organization in place to organize and establish one. By doing so, prevention and rescue missions that are not law enforcement related and would be handled by the government agency could be conducted by a professionally trained search and rescue volunteer force, freeing the senior service to focus on other critical missions.

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