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RBR wants to boost numbers in coastguard after recruit camp

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Lance Corporal James Woolfe, Lance Corporal Melanie Gauntlett and Lance Corporal Damon Trott of the coastguard. (Photograph supplied)

The Royal Bermuda Regiment hopes to bolster its numbers on the water this summer and are on the lookout for recruits.

Captain Jeffrey Patterson, the coastguard commander, hopes to increase staff numbers to boost the unit’s capabilities and enhance training.

A RBR recruit camp is scheduled to begin next month and soldiers who complete the foundational training can request to be considered for a role in the coastguard.

Captain Patterson said: “We are in the process of trying to increase coastguard numbers, both full-time staff and part-time staff, through the RBR recruitment drive.

“The intention is that the increase in staff will allow the unit to deploy a larger number of assets during the height of the summer or national emergencies, as well as develop the depth of training of its staff within the unit and develop a succession plan for the future of the unit.”

The coastguard’s role includes search and rescue, marine safety and security, accident and disaster response, customs and border control and law enforcement.

In 2022, the unit carried out more than 1,000 patrols, interacted with or observed 21,145 vessels and carried out 85 search-and-rescue operations.

An RBR spokesman said the coastguard was made up of nine RBR soldiers and four Bermuda Police Service officers who work full time, along with 25 RBR soldiers and three BPS reserves on a part-time roster.

However, it is hoped that the unit can grow to 14 full-time staff and 32 part-time staff.

Lance Corporal Melanie Gauntlett on the radio during an exercise. (Photograph supplied)

Lance Corporal Melanie Gauntlett, one of the unit’s part-time staff, has been a regiment soldier since 2018.

She said: “Coastguard, I thought, was a nice combination of my love of the water and medics, because we do both here.

“Even if you’re a novice boater, these guys are very good at their jobs, so everybody’s given the confidence to learn.”

Residents aged between 18 and 50 are invited to sign up with the RBR by January 26, to take part in initial recruit training, which will run from February 12 to 24.

For more information or to sign up, visit www.bermudaregiment.bm or call 238-1045.

A coastguard Heron 3. (Photograph supplied)

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Published January 25, 2023 at 7:53 am (Updated January 25, 2023 at 7:53 am)

RBR wants to boost numbers in coastguard after recruit camp

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