Milton Peters College visits the Coast Guard 

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On Tuesday March 19th, The Coast Guard in Sint Maarten warmly welcomed a total of 96 third-year students from Milton Peters College (MPC) for an extensive tour of the Sub-Station at Simpson Bay. The goal of this visit was to enhance their awareness about the Coast Guard’s responsibilities in our community but also how they operate out at sea.

The visit also aimed to showcase the range of career opportunities available to these aspiring young professionals. Over the course of their three-hour visit, students gained insight into the diverse tasks carried out by the men and women patrolling the Caribbean Sea. Mr. Randy Paskel, the head of the Sub-Station, expressed, “It was time to open our doors once again and welcome these young minds into our world for a day. Different stations were set up, providing students with the opportunity to ask all types of questions about our work.” Paskel added how pleasantly surprised he was, when bombarded with relevant questions that came his way; “some of the kids really impressed me by asking questions you would not expect from teenagers. They asked about the type of missions that we conducted, how we worked with other partners and were even interested in learning more about our maritime intelligence policing approach”.

The event commenced with a gathering, where students were divided into four groups. Each group received a presentation detailing the Coast Guard’s operations across all six islands of the Dutch Caribbean. Subsequently, they were introduced to the ‘Basis Opleiding Kustwacht’ (BOK), a one-year program that equips students with the necessary skills to become police officers out at sea. 

At the ‘Poema’ station, students toured the Cutter ship, which is outfitted for extended patrols lasting anywhere between 5 to 7 days at sea. They explored the crew’s quarters and learned firsthand about the various missions undertaken during the “Poema’s” patrols. 

The “Metal Shark” station provided insights into the boat’s functions and the challenges of pursuing unauthorized vessels during night and day patrols.

Students also learned about the Coast Guard’s responsibility to enforce regulations on illegal fishing and sailing behavior out at sea. 

The final station featured a physical challenge, where all 96 students experienced a taste of the physical demands required before to join the maritime organization. 

Besides the Coast Guard’s responsibilities towards border protection against unwanted visitors, the supervision of illegal fishing and other maritime tasks, they are also fully committed towards serving as a pillar of support for the communities of Saba, Statia and Sint Maarten. It is with that thought in mind that they will continue to open their doors towards curious young minds wanting to broaden their horizons and possibly joining a diverse organization. 

For more information regarding future opportunities, please visit www.kustwacht.org or send an email to info@kustwacht.org.