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THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT OF MARINE SERVICES AND THE ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA COAST GUARD The Department of Marine Services and Merchant Shipping (ADOMS) is Antigua and Barbuda’s Maritime Administration that is responsible for the Registration of ships and managing the country’s Registry by applying national and international safety standards. In fulfilling these mandates, the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force Coast Guard (ABDF CG), through the nature of its operations, supports ADOMS in a number of areas such as Maritime Search and Rescue, Marine Safety Broadcasts, Marine Investigations, and Oil Pollution Response. Additionally, the Coast Guard’s Operations Centre is used to access the Department’s Automated Identification System (AIS) and the Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) System which are used to track ships and facilitate efficient Search and Rescue (SAR) responses. The ABDF CG is heavily engaged in the area of Maritime Safety as it boards and inspects vessels to ensure that they are in compliance with relevant international safety regulations. There are however, gaps in the law relating to the regulation of small crafts and there are plans to have this situation rectified under the direction of ADOMS with the support of the ABDF CG and other stakeholders. It is anticipated that the Coast Guard will become more involved with vessel inspections when the new law is passed. This will also require ABDF CG personnel to become certified and qualified to conduct Port and Flag State Control inspections so that ADOMS can have a wider pool of inspectors that could assist in making the inspection regime for commercial vessels more efficient. The collaboration between the two organizations also entails the development of human resources where ADOMS has sponsored training courses for a number of Coast Guard personnel in the areas of Search and Rescue and Hydrography. These training initiatives certainly have gone a long way in building capacity and achieving a higher level of professionalism within the ABDF CG. As a spinoff, the ABDF CG is now in a better position to assist ADOMS to meet 62 |

BusinessFocus • December/January 11/12

its responsibilities in a number of key areas that are critical for the efficient operations of the Administration. In conjunction with the other training initiatives as previously mentioned, the Department was also involved in the sponsorship of the ABDF CG’s Commanding Officer to do a Masters of Science program in Maritime Safety and Environmental Administration at the World Maritime University in Malmo Sweden. The ABDF CG is confident that similar opportunities will become available to other members within the ensuing years. The need for the ABDF CG to establish a closer relationship with ADOMS has become even more evident since the Department’s preparation for the Voluntary International Maritime Organization Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS). As a member of the Maritime Affairs Committee (MAC), the ABDF CG is required to liaise closely with ADOMS to ensure that its policies and procedure relating to Search and Rescue and Marine Pollution response are in accordance with international standards. In being so organized, the

Business Focus Antigua Issue 40  
Business Focus Antigua Issue 40  

As 2011 comes to a close and we enter 2012, the forecast for the world economy continues to be news of job cuts and hints of a "double dip"...