PHILIPSBURG-Have you always wanted to see how a Coast Guard cutter or a Navy ship looks like on the inside? Always wanted to know how they operate and what they stand for? Then come to the Coast Guard Open Day on Sunday, February 21, at the Cruise Terminal in Pointe Blanche.
The Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year and has organized an Open Day on Sunday, February 21, from 10:00am to 4:00pm. During the day, ships from the Coast Guard, Royal Netherlands Navy, Anguilla, and also from the United States and the St. Maarten Sea Rescue, will be open to the public.
Throughout the day, there will also be demonstrations with the Coast Guard vessels on the water and the Dash-8 patrol aircraft in the air. Dutch Marines will also be present with demonstrations and activity stands.
The HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën is an air defense and commando frigate. The Royal Netherlands Navy has four of these ships in its fleet. To conduct Coast Guard tasks there’s a boarding team of the Coast Guard Substation St. Maarten on board. The ship is being tasked for counterdrug operations and humanitarian disaster relief, for example after passage of a hurricane. They also inspect illegal fisheries, environmental offenses and perform Search and Rescue tasks.
Besides cooperation with its partners such as police, customs and immigration on St. Maarten, the Coast Guard has good connections with the neighboring countries. For example, the Rescue and Coordination Center (RCC) in Curaçao coordinates on a regular basis Search and Rescue actions (SAR) with its partner RCC in Fort-de-France, Martinique.
Several SAR actions have been conducted in good cooperation using French and Coast Guard assets. This includes flying resources from substation Hato in Curaçao, and maritime assets from substation St. Maarten. Regarding maritime law enforcement, French and Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard have to coordinate their operations, since territorial waters almost border some other islands. Further, valuable information is exchanged on a regular basis.
Parking for the general public is available at the Harbor. Guests are asked to follow instructions by security. Parking will be open at 9:30am and closed at 4:30pm sharp. After parking, guests can walk around via the sidewalk to the main entrance. Photo identification will be required for entering the facility. Bags and other items may be subject to inspection.
Source: 721 news Coast Guard Open Day on Sunday, February 21