Remarks by US Charge d’Affaires Stephanie Bowers
Official Handover Ceremony of SAFE Boat and Accessories
August 14, 2018
The Honorable Marvin Dames, Minister of National Security, Commodore Tellis Bethel, Commander Defence Force, Captain Clyde Sawyer, Principal Officer Administration, Reverend Prince Bodie, RBDF Chaplain, and Officers of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force – Good Morning.
Today I am delighted to officially present this 25-foot Safe Response boat to the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
The donation of this patrol craft represents the continued commitment of the U.S. government and U.S. Northern Command to the Bahamian government and to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force. This is the second SAFEBOAT the U.S. government has donated to the RBDF to provide security to the cruise ship terminal here in Nassau.
Today’s donation highlights the mutual alignment of the goals and priorities of our governments. Each day, thousands of U.S. citizen tourists disembark from cruise ships like the ones you see here today, to enjoy the spectacular beaches, cultural offerings, and shopping in New Providence. We all want their experience to be positive, happy, and above all, safe. And each day, my team at the U.S. Embassy remains grateful to the women and men of the Royal Bahamas Defense Force who ensure the safety and security of these visitors.
The 25’ SAFE Response boat is perfectly suited for both inner harbor and coastal patrol missions. I am confident the presence of these patrol craft will increase the RBDF’s ability to ensure the safe and secure passage of the cruise ships that visit Nassau.
The United States and The Bahamas enjoy a long-standing history of cooperation, mutual assistance, and friendship. As the handover of this vessel attests, we are proud to continue partnering with the RBDF. This ceremony marks a milestone in our investment in RBDF maritime operational readiness. As part of this project, we previously provided another boat, as well as trucks and trailers to support the safety and maintenance of these resources. Finally, to promote sustainability in the deployment of and care for the vessels, SafeBoats International will provide training for the RBDF in the coming months.
I commend the effort of all those involved in this project, and would like to take a moment to officially thank Minister of National Security Dames, Commodore Bethel, and the officers of the Royal Bahamas Defense Force for their dedication to this project.
I’m looking forward to seeing this vessel out on the water as I drive along Bay Street, so I will just close by saying that the U.S. Mission looks forward to continuing our work with The Bahamas to increase the security of all our citizens. Thank you.