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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 November 11 at the Cruise Terminal in Point Blanche.

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 November 11 at the Cruise Terminal in Point Blanche.

The Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard will organize its first Open Day in St. Maarten this Friday, November 11 2011 which is also St. Maarten Day. During this day, ships from the Coast Guard, Royal Netherlands Navy and from our neighbor islands St. Kitts and Anguilla, but also from the United States and the St. Maarten Sea Rescue, will be open for the public.

The ships will be open starting at 10.00 AM. At 11.30 AM there will be the first demonstration with the Coast Guard vessels on the water and a demonstration of the Lynx helicopter and the Dash-8 patrol aircraft in the air. At 1.30 PM there will be a second demonstration on the water. These demonstrations will continue in the afternoon and the Open Day closes its doors at 4.00 PM to the public.

Parking
Parking for the general public is available at the first turn off after DockMaarten on your right on the sandy area. Guests are asked to follow the securities instructions. Parking will be open at 9:30 a.m and  closed at 5.00 p.m. 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.

Regional Cooperation
Besides cooperation with its partners (such as police, customs, immigration) on Sint Maarten, the Coast Guard has good connections with the neighbor countries. For example, the Rescue and Coordination Center (RCC) in CuraƧao coordinates on a regular basis Search-and-Rescue actions 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 and maritime assets from substation Sint Maarten. Regarding maritime law enforcement, both French and 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.

Van Amstel and Coast Guard
The Dutch frigate Van Amstel is operating for the Coast Guard in vicinity of Sint Maarten. To conduct the Coastguard tasks Van Amstel has a detachment of personnel from the Coast Guard Substation Sint Maarten embarked. Together (ship and Coastguard personnel) they patrol the waters around Sint Maarten, Saba and Statia and conduct frequent inspections on shipping towards and from the islands. The Lynx helicopter is used for surveillance flights on which the ship, other Coastguard assets or partners can respond.
 
Just yesterday November 8, the Hr. Ms. Van Amstel, was involved in a case with the French authorities. Van Amstel assisted the French authorities in detaining a suspect ship, was passing along our islands and was suspected of transporting drugs. The ship was escorted to the French , who will further investigate the case. On Wednesday November 9, just before the ceremonial entry, Van Amstel was again involved in intercepting a suspect vessel. This vessel has been taken to Sint Maarten and is still under investigation.