Have you always wanted to see how a Coast Guard cutter or a Navy ship looks like on the inside? Always wanted to know how they operate and what they stand for? Then visit the Coast Guard Open Day on Sunday February 21 at the Cruise Terminal in Point Blanche.
The Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year and has an Open Day on Sunday February 21 from 10.00 AM to 4.00 PM.During this day, ships from the Coast Guard, Royal Netherlands Navy, Anguilla, but also from the United States and the St. Maarten Sea Rescue, will be open for the public. Throughout the day, there will also be demonstrations with the Coast Guard vessels on the water the Dash-8 patrol aircraft in the air. The Open Day closes its doors at 4.00 PM to the general public. The Dutch Marines will also be present with demonstrations and activity stands.
The ‘HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën’ and Coast Guard
The ‘HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën’ is an air defense and commando frigate. The Royal Netherlands Navy has four of these ships in its fleet. To conduct the Coastguard tasks they have a boarding team of the Coast Guard Substation Sint Maarten on board. The ship is being tasked for counterdrugs operations and humanitarian disaster relief for example after a hurricane passage. They also do inspections of illegal fisheries, environmental offenses and Search and Rescue tasks.
Besides cooperation with its partners such as police, customs and immigration on Sint Maarten, the Coast Guard has good connections with the neighbor countries. For example, the Rescue and Coordination Center (RCC) in Curaçao coordinates on a regular basis Search and Rescue actions (SAR) with its partner RCC in Fort-de-France, Martinique. Several SAR actions have been conducted in good cooperation using both French assets and assets of the Coast Guard. This includes flying assets from substation Hato in Curaçao and maritime assets from substation Sint Maarten. Regarding maritime law enforcement, both the French and the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard have to coordinate their operations, since the territorial waters are almost bordering around some islands. Further, valuable information is exchanged on a regular basis.
Parking for the general public is available at the Harbor. Guests are asked to follow the securities instructions. Parking will be open at 9:30 AM and closed at 4.30 PM sharp. After parking, guests can walk around via the sidewalk to the main entrance. Photo I.D. will be a requirement for entering the facility. Bags and other items may be subject to inspection.