Covid-19: Coast Guard On Patrol On Land & Sea

April 20, 2020 | 5 Comments

Coast Guard personnel from the Royal Bermuda Regiment were keeping tabs on boat movements and coastal areas.

The soldiers mounted boat patrols around the island to enforce the Government’s shelter in place regulations on the water and on land.

Corporal CJ Richardson, 32, who is in his third week of embodiment, said: “It’s pretty good – I’ve got a bunch of people I get along with really well. It’s like family.”

Private Steffan Adderley and Corporal CJ Richardson work on a Bermuda Coast Guard patrol boat engine.

Bermuda Coast Guard April 2020 (3)

He added: “When we first started, there were a lot of people who didn’t realise they couldn’t go out on their boats. But people have started to get the message now.”

Cpl Richardson said the two Coast Guard sections rotated every week between sea duty and manning vehicle checkpoints.

He added that life in the Regiment – particularly in a crisis – was tough, but worthwhile.

Cpl Richardson, from Paget, who works at Marine Locker in Pembroke, said: “I would rather be here because I’m constantly being challenged and constantly working.

Bermuda Coast Guard April 2020 (4)

“It’s long hours, but I’d rather be doing that than sleeping or watching Netflix over shelter in place. We’re performing a community service and I think I am lucky.”

Private Steffan Adderley, 28, from Hamilton Parish, added: “It’s fine. It’s no burden at all. It’s good to help my country in its time of need.”

Pte Adderley, who works in construction and part-time as a fisherman, said: “I prefer being out on the water, but the roadside aspect is a good experience because we get to interact with people a lot and you learn how to deal with different situations. For the most part, people are sticking to the rules.”

Bermuda Coast Guard Private Steffan Adderley checks the licence of a commercial fisherman.

Bermuda Coast Guard April 2020 (1)

The two were speaking just before they went out on patrol, checking anchorages and boats to make sure they had a legitimate reason be out on the water, such as commercial fishermen with licences.

The Coast Guard, a joint RBR and police service, has also towed boats to shore and escorted visiting boats to Customs and immigration officials then into a mandatory 14-day quarantine and checked coastal parks, which are also closed due to the coronavirus.

Sergeant Tyler Smith, a former Royal Navy sailor, said his job was to man the operations centre at the Coast Guard’s Watford House HQ in Sandys.

Sgt Smith, who celebrated his 31st birthday on April 8, the day he was called up, added he controlled the Bermuda Coast Guard boats on the water and liaised with the police and Harbour Radio.

Sergeant Tyler Smith keeps tabs on Coast Guard patrols in the operations room at the Coast Guard headquarters at Watford House in Sandys.

Bermuda Coast Guard April 2020 (2)

He said: “We’re taking the names of people who shouldn’t be out on the water and passing them on to the police.”

Sgt Smith, of Paget and the islands manager for Waterfront Properties, added the troops had also warned swimmers that they were not allowed in the water and ordered back to shore.

He said: “Morale is high – we love being out on the water and we love helping people out. We’re polite, but we still enforce the rules.”

Sgt Smith added: “The spirit is awesome and there is no one with their head down here. They all understand the situation and how serious it is.”

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Comments (5)

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  1. Boat says:

    I heard the regiment boat troop successfully stopped someone swimming off the rocks on their own property. Now the fish are safe from covid and it only takes 8 full time staff, a HQ building and 2 boats to provide this service.

    I for one am happy that this particular rule breaker was prevented from doing healthy exercise away from all other people, and it only costs us $1M+ a year.

    • Wilbur Kelly says:

      I agree. We are in a crises and the Coast Guard service is looking to a reason for being. People out in their boats pose no risk to the general population. Catch them on the road before they get to the dock. If they live on the water SO WHAT?

  2. Hal says:

    I have a dock and get taxed quite heftily for that privilege but am not allowed to swimm off my dock… Guess I will need to wait till low tide and along as my feet touch the ground – I’M WALKING!!

  3. George says:

    Unconscionable! Both the riduculous rule and the waste of money to enforce it. Of course these children would rather be out boating than watching Netflix like everyone else has been forced to do. Can’t believe the populous is stupid to allow this. Well, then. It is Bermuda.

  4. Mark says:

    Bet they aren’t being pro-active and checking on boats at their moorings.

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