SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO – The Coast Guard officer training, “Basis Opleiding Kustwacht” (BOK) was reinitiated on August 3, 2020, the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard announced on Friday in a media statement.
“Last March the training was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. As a precaution, all students from Aruba and St. Maarten returned to their homes and families. The students flew back to Curaçao in June 2020 and last Monday the training was reinitiated.
“The students from Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten started with great enthusiasm and energy on their first assignment, a tough hike in the “drie gebroeders” area. The “drie gebroeders” are three hills in the rugged landscape of Curaçao.
“The youngsters got up very early last Monday and challenged the heat and the rugged terrain of the three hills until noon. In the coming weeks, the 18 students will receive the follow-up modules from the BOK.
“The entire week was a refreshment course of the first training weeks; these were the modules they followed in January and February 2020. During the training weeks, the students were challenged both physically and mentally.
“Under the guidance of Coast Guard instructors, the youngsters camped in various rough terrains, marched for miles, swam kilometers, cooked, kayaked, built rafts, participated in classroom programs as well as completed amphibious exercises.
“After the training weeks they followed the nautical education, where the modules of basic rescue training, firefighting, manual VHF and first aid course were included. After this refreshment week the youngsters will continue the BOK program as planned, with next on the planning the weapons and shooting program.”