April 4, 2013 | 3:46 pm | Print
Above: members of the Bahamas government, cruise lines and the US Coast Guard (BIS Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Bahamian government recently concluded a joint “Black Swan” exercise with members of the United States Coast Guard and the cruise line industry.
The three-day exercise was designed to create a better understanding of each agencies’ capabilities and concerns during a maritime mass rescue event.
It involved emergency testing procedures, search and rescue coordination and abandon ship process, among other measures.
US Coast Guard crews involved in the event included members on the Coast Guard Cutters Joshua Appleby, Tarpon and Diamondback, along with crewmembers from the Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association and Royal Bahamas Defence Force.
Cruise lines involved included the Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Sea and the Norwegian Sky, both of which were used for an evacuation drill.
“Our engagement with the Bahamian government, cruise line industry and other key partners continues to be highly beneficial,” said Captain Todd Lutes of the 7th Coast Guard District Chief of Incident Management Branch. “We’ve been coordinating these exercises over the past few decades as one of many processes to continually improve maritime safety of passengers and crew.”
Christine Duffy, CEO of the Cruise Lines International Association, said the exercise “further strengthens the cruise industry’s unwavering commitment to emergency preparedness in coordination with the Coast Guard and other government agencies.”
Around 200 people participated in the exercise, including 137 volunteers.