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“Search and Rescue and Marine Pollution Response” Workshop Enhances Operations for Marine Stakeholders

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PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS (November 28th, 2023) – In an effort to ensure our maritime stakeholders are equipped to manage marine pollution from oil and improve search and rescue procedures for marine operators,  the Department of Fisheries and Marine Resource Management (FMRM), the Ministry of Tourism and the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency is hosting a three-day workshop, “Search and Rescue and Marine Pollution Response” at the Opus Conference Room, November 28th to 30th, 2023.

The primary aims of the workshop are to enhance the country’s disaster preparedness and response capabilities, improve the effectiveness of search and rescue operations, particularly given the importance of marine activities to the tourism industry, and reduce the impact of pollution on public health and the environment. The exercise involves a range of activities, including search and rescue and pollution response simulations for emergency responders.

Delivering remarks at the opening of the Workshop on Tuesday, November 28th, 2023, Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Josephine Connolly said the workshop will prepare attendees to tackle challenges that are unique to the marine industry.

“It is our collective responsibility to enhance our capabilities in responding to distress calls, conducting effective search operations, and executing timely rescue missions. Through this workshop, we aim to foster a deeper understanding of best practices, technological advancements, and international protocols that can optimise search and rescue operations in the Turks and Caicos waters,” she said.

Participants include local emergency responders, the Royal Caicos Police Force Marine Coastal Division, the TCI regiment, representatives of the Grand Turk Cruise Port, Core Resources, the Port Authority, TCI Civil Aviation Authority, South Bank Marina, Turtle Cove Marina, Customs, Immigration, the Fisheries and Marine Resource Management, and the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources.

In her remarks, Thecla Joseph, Director of Fisheries and Marine Resource Management, said the benefits of the workshop cannot be overstated.

“Search and Rescue operations are vital for ensuring the safety and security of maritime activities. The unique geographical location of the Turks and Caicos Islands makes it essential to enhance our capabilities in search and rescue to effectively respond to emergencies at sea. Furthermore, with the increasing concerns about maritime pollution, it is imperative that we come together to explore innovative solutions and best practices for preventing, mitigating and responding to pollution incidents in out waters,” she said.

During the interactive opening sessions, participants learned about the composition of crude oil, the behaviour and environmental effects of chemicals, the impact of accidents with container ships, and the laws governing marine incidents.

The highlight of the first day was a tabletop challenge in which participants were tasked with conceptualizing a Search and Rescue strategy for an incident in which two ships collided, and injured crew members.

 

Press Release

Header: Minister of Tourism, the Hon Josephine Connolly with participants of the Search and Rescue and Pollution Response Workshop

Insert: Minister of Tourism, the Hon Josephine Connolly with Ms. Thecla Joseph, Director of Fisheries and Marine Resource Management and from left, Mr. Levard Missick, Assistant Director of Enforcement, Department of Fisheries and Marine Resource Management, Mr. Arthur Been, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Mr. Neil Chapman,  Environmental Science Lead, Mr. Phil Bostock, Operational Lead, Overseas Territories Search and Rescue Capability Project, Ms. Alison Leighton, Overseas Strategic Policy Manager, Mr. Stan Woznicki, Head of Counter Pollution and Salvage and Ms. Kathy Lockhart, Director of Fisheries.

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Two Deaths on Monday July 8, Police report on Sudden Death and Unresponsive Male

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#TurksandCaicos, July 19, 2024 – Officers of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force are actively investigating separate sudden deaths that occurred in South Caicos and Providenciales.

On Monday, July 8th, 2024, shortly after 10 a.m., the Police Control Room received a call reporting that a male employee had fallen from the fourth floor of a Resort in South Caicos.

Officers and medical personnel were dispatched, and upon arrival at the resort, officers were told that the employee was fixing an air-conditioning unit when he fell off a ladder.  The male was transported to the South Caicos Clinic for treatment but was pronounced dead at 11:47 AM.

The deceased has been identified as a 47-year-old Indian national, whose name is being withheld at this time, pending the next of kin being informed.

The second incident occurred shortly after noon in Providenciales.

Officers of the RT&CIPF responded to a report made at a Resort located along Lower Bight Providenciales. Upon arrival at the scene, officers observed a male lying on his back on the beach, surrounded by a group of people performing chest compressions. The victim had been removed from the water after being discovered floating.

The 52-year-old victim was rushed to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center via ambulance but sadly passed away.

The RT&CIPF extends condolences to the family and friends of the deceased men

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TCI Cabinet agrees to subsidise South Caicos international flights in May 29th meeting

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#TurksandCaicos, July 19, 2024 – Her Excellency the Acting Governor Anya Williams chaired the 16th meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday May 29th, 2024, at the Office of the Premier on the island of Providenciales.

All members of Cabinet were present with the exception of Governor H.E. Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam.

At this meeting Cabinet:

  1. Approved the Statutory Bodies 4th Quarter Special Purpose Financial Report for FY 2023-2024.
  2. Approved the 4th Quarter Financial Report for the Turks and Caicos Islands Government and agreed for the report to be published on the government’s website.
  3. Granted approval under Refurbishment Policy for a duty concession on the importation of construction, materials, furniture, fixtures, and fittings for the Palms Resort.
  4. Granted approval of the request from the Ministry of Public Safety to access the Contingency Fund to support immediately required security arrangements.
  5. Did not support the request for the waiver of Import Customs Duty.
  6. Granted approval for the disposal of 73,000 cubic yards/meters of silt that will be dredged from the seabed during the South Dock Redevelopment Project.
  7. Granted approval for amendments to the Electricity Ordinance and approved Draft Control of Capital Investment Policy which would allow for advance approval of any significant capital expenditures by a public supplier.
  8. Granted approval for the reappointment of the following persons to the Electricity Board for a period of one (1) year commencing May 21, 2024: John Ariza-Chairman, Master Electrical, Richard Harvey-Member, Electrical Contractors, Menelik Astwood-Member TCICC, James Fulford-Member Electrical Contractors, Director of Planning-Dainer Lightbourne-ex-officio, Energy and Utilities Commission-Delano Arthur-ex-officio and Permanent Secretary (MPSU) Mrs. Bridgette Newman ex-officio, and Shanetta Thompson appointed as Secretary for a period of 2 years.
  9. Granted approval for a long-term lease over Parcels 10506/29 South Suburbs, Grand Turk for the development of a cruise stop over resort type facility.
  10. Noted the findings of the Registrar and approved an interim settlement to be paid in respect of Interim Certificate of Taxation re: CL 42/21 Thanbyrase Srikanth et al v Director of Immigration et al-Cost Certificate)
  11. Granted approval of the Draft District Administration Bill 2024 and noted the stakeholder consultation plan that was scheduled to be conducted throughout the islands.
  12. Noted the previous approval for the budget reallocation within the DMMO Experience Turks and Caicos to fund the minimum revenue guarantee (MRG) in respect to international airlift to the island of South Caicos

Further information on these matters will be provided by Ministers in due course.

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Proposed Amendments for Business Licensing in TCI heard at June 4 Cabinet Meeting  

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#TurksandCaicos, July 19, 2024 – Her Excellency the Acting Governor Anya Williams chaired the 17th meeting of the Cabinet on Tuesday June 4th, 2024, at the Office of the Premier on the island of Providenciales.

All members of Cabinet were present with the exception of Governor H.E. Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, Attorney General Hon. Rhondalee Knowles and the Ministers of Home Affairs and Public Safety and Utilities.  Ms. Yaa McCartney attended in the capacity of Acting Attorney General.

At this meeting Cabinet:

  1. Received a presentation from the Ministry of Finance on the proposed amendments to Business Licensing which was being put forward as a result of the consultations that had taken place and agreed next steps.

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