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utch Caribbean Coast Guard is ready for the 44th edition of the Heineken Regatta

Utch Caribbean Coast Guard Is Ready For The 44Th Edition Of The Heineken Regatta

The 44th edition of the Sint Maarten Heineken Regatta is scheduled to commence on February 29th, concluding on March 3rd. This popular annual event is celebrated for its exceptional sailing competition and the unforgettable parties it offers. In preparation for the event, the organizers engage in meticulous planning and coordination with local  authorities to guarantee safety both at sea and on shore. A key collaborator in these efforts is the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard, which dedicates its resources to maintaining safety and order on the waters throughout the event’s duration.

Annually, the Coast Guard integrates the event into its operational calendar, allowing for the strategic allocation of additional personnel training and the acquisition of supplementary equipment specifically tailored to meet the demands of the Regatta. This proactive approach ensures the event not only runs smoothly but also upholds the highest standards of safety and security for all participants and spectators.

The Coast Guard is committed to ensuring the highest level of safety throughout the duration of the event, executing vigilant patrols to address any safety-related challenges and to ascertain the security of all participants engaging in sailing activities. In a concerted effort with the St. Maarten Police Force , Dutch Marines, Customs, and Immigration departments, the Coast Guard will extend its patrol operations across our territorial waters to enhance safety measures.

Our number one priority is safety at sea, and in light of this, we wish to distribute crucial safety guidelines that must be followed to by all individuals participating in this sailing event:

  • Each vessel is required to be equipped with a sufficient number of life vests, ensuring one for every person onboard.
  • The boat documentation specifically stipulates the maximum capacity of individuals allowed onboard, which must not be exceeded under any circumstances.
  • Captains are required to have a fully charged cellular phone or a functional vhf radio, in addition to GPS equipment, on board at all times.
  • Operators of wave runners (SEADOO) are obligated to wear life vests and are advised to moderate their speed in designated areas.
  • It is imperative for boat captains or the vessels agents, to report to the Immigration office for clearance upon departure or arrival in Sint Maarten.
  • In the event of an emergency, individuals should immediately contact 913 or communicate via VHF channel 16.
  • It is a requirement for all individuals onboard to have their identification papers on them (ID/passport). Boat documentation should also be up-to-date, present and accessible.
  • It is mandatory to have an operational light on the vessel, when traveling in a dinghy (small boat) to and from the various activities after the sun sets. This requirement is essential for ensuring your visibility to other watercrafts and for navigating safely in low-light conditions. Following this rule helps prevent collisions and ensures the safety of all individuals on the water.
  • Public intoxication is strictly prohibited by law when sailing and operating a dinghy (small boat) at night. This regulation will be enforced to lower the risk of accidents and ensure the safety of all individuals participating in or attending the events. 

Mr. Jurandy Sambre, the Head of Operations at Sub-Station Sint Maarten, expressed readiness and enthusiasm for the upcoming annual event, which has become an integral tradition of Sint Maarten, just like Carnaval and Christmas. ” We look forward to it and are ready to go!” he remarked.

Furthermore, the newly appointed Head of the Substation, Mr. Randy Paskel, applauded the exceptional level of professionalism and commitment exhibited by the team, as well as the preparatory efforts undertaken by everyone involved. “This will be my first Regatta as the head of the Sub-Station, and I must say, I’m impressed at the level of professionalism displayed by all of our team members, but also the level of dedication from the organizers and all other local authorities involved!” he stated.

The Coast Guard will be patrolling with the Metal Sharks, the “Poema” Cutter and other units. 

We wish all a safe and successful Sint Maarten Heineken Regatta 2024!

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