Caribbean Maritime Defense Officers Undergo Advanced Dive Training

By the end of Tradewinds 2012, maritime defense officers from across the Caribbean will be more equipped to handle a range of marine threats – from underwater explosives to oil spills.

{CLICK FOR BIGGER} Able Seaman Omar Holligan of the Barbados Coast Guard is helped into a 60 pound bomb suit used for explosive ordinance disposal by course trainer Master Seaman Doug Woodrow of the Royal Canadian Navy’s Fleet Diving Unit Atlantic.

Yesterday was the second of eight days of intensive training in advanced dive techniques led by the Fleet Diving Unit Atlantic of the Royal Canadian Navy.

Twenty one participants from Barbados, Dominica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia and Suriname are undergoing the rigorous training which includes bomb recognition and disposal, underwater searches and contaminated water diving.

(at right) Petty Officer 2nd Class Yves Bernard of the Royal Canadian Navy explaining to the local media how a ROV (remotely operated vehicle) can be used in circumstances when divers cannot go in.

Lead course instructor Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Tiffin explained that the contaminated water diving training would show participants how to operate in circumstances such as oil spills where the water would be hazardous and there would be low visibility.

(at left) Leading Seaman David Petty of the Royal Canadian Navy, speaking with dive course participants during a practical diving exercise.

Course instructor Master Seaman Doug Woodrow, who was conducting the explosive ordinance disposal diving, showed participants how to get outfitted in a bomb suit.

Dive training continues tomorrow at the Barbados Coast Guard’s HMBS Pelican and at spots around Barbados.

Coast guard officers from St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Dominica and Suriname get outfitted for a practical diving exercise.

Tradewinds is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored annual security training exercise. It is an inter-agency, multi-national exercise designed to enhance the collective abilities of Caribbean defense forces and constabularies to counter transnational organized crime and conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.

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