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Defence Force Investigates Groundings Of Two Vessels

By FARRAH JOHNSON

fjohnson@tribunemedia.net

THE Royal Bahamas Defence Force has launched a Board of Inquiry to assess the circumstances surrounding the recent groundings of two of their vessels.

In a press statement, the RBDF said the grounding of the HMBS Rolly Gray on July 13 marked the “second unfortunate incident in recent times” which has led the agency to launch an official investigation to “determine the events” surrounding both incidents.

“The Royal Bahamas Defence Force wishes to reassure the general public that those placed in command positions are highly trained naval officers who have graduated from international training academies and colleges with high performance standards,” the statement continued.

“The Royal Bahamas Defence Force has taken measures to strengthen the assessment, selection and professional development of our officers to ensure that such incidents are minimised in the immediate and future.”

According to the RBDF, some of the measures include the reinstatement of their prospective craft command qualifying courses; bridge resource management simulation training for all ship crews; onboard assessments of the crew conduct and competency and coordination levels by their mobile sea training team.

RBDF officers will also participate in incident analysis workshops of previous mistakes to help identify “instances of human error and corrective measures” to avoid future occurrences.

The statement concluded: “Service members have been encouraged by the commander (of the) defence force, Commodore Raymond King to embrace the concept of continuous improvement, training and professional development as the Royal Bahamas Defence Force transforms itself marked by the pursuit of performance excellence.”

In April 2018, a clip went viral of Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis admonishing then Royal Bahamas Defence Force Commodore Tellis Bethel about marines “mashing up” defence force vessels, adding that officers must “learn to navigate”.

Dr Minnis’ comment came after a set of propellers on HMBS Rolly Gray was damaged that month after the boat departed Coral Harbour, the third time such an incident had taken place in a six month timeframe. At the time, Commodore Bethel, through information provided to Press Secretary Anthony Newbold, said the commanding officers of two vessels involved in recent incidents have been reassigned.

It was also revealed in April 2018 that the cost of repairing HMBS Arthur Dion Hanna , which sustained damage to its port shaft and gear box in November 2017, was $1.5m.

Comments

hrysippus 2 months ago

A " a Board of Inquiry to assess the circumstances" is a toothless waste of time as it will have no power to effect change or punish incompetence. There should be a court-martial and the offenders, when found guilty, should be stripped of their rank and pensions.

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banker 2 months ago

Agree. It's the only way to prevent slackness.

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tribanon 2 months ago

We borrowed millions and millions of dollars to buy these RBDF vessels with all of their electronic navigational equipment and yet somehow they get run aground. Could it be that these vessels are simply no match for their very young and inexperienced crews of D- educated sailors?

And while these seriously damaged vessels remain docked, the illegal Haitian aliens landing on our shores, the drug runners have never had it so easy, and the Dominicans and Cubans are poaching our territorial seas on a scale like they have never done before. We are truly doom as a country if we don't soon rid ourselves of this most corrupt and incompetent FNM government led by Minnis!

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bogart 2 months ago

Oddest most strange situation that these some 9 Defence Force boats or more .....some 150M dollars or more decided by previous Govt and with Opposition in Parliament to purchase these vitally needed boats......from a boat building company located way over across the Atlantic ocean whichinin seems that for certain repairs have to be dragged across back the ocean. Indeed quite a strange situation that could not look at the couple of dozen Defence boat builders located in the US but went with company across the ocean in Netherlands. Still awaiting news from the Dutch Government who had started investigations into alleged briberies relating to this company and which was broken by the local press and documented. sometime half a year ago.

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Clamshell 2 months ago

... and, like every other scandal in Bahamian history, the press and everybody else just forgets about it over time.

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BONEFISH 2 months ago

The newspapers here in the Bahamas don't do much investigative journalism or follow up on their stories.

The information about those boat's purchases is right there in the ministry of finance and the cabinet office.That information was leaked to the Tribune and Punch by an FNM operative.The agent in this matter lives right in Barbados.The Tribune nor the Punch did not attempt to interview him.

He does a lot of procurement work for governments in the eastern caribbean .Damen Shipyards the builders of those vessels was selected by a committee of Defence force officers.

The Minnis government told the Dutch investigators ,they saw no wrong -doing in the purchase of those vessels.But they won't say that publicly.That is why the Guardian never bothered to carry this story.Every thing is a game in this country.

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