Photo shows: The HMBS ROLLY GRAY ship’s crew coming together to make an inline formation during a Water Survival Exercise Training on Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (RBDF Photo by Able Seaman Paul Rolle II)

In keeping with the Commander Defence Force, Commodore Dr. Raymond King’s strategic intent of the professionalization of the entity’s human capital via continuous training and development with a resultant capability-based organization, the HMBS ROLLY GRAY ship’s crew completed a Water Survival Exercise Training on Wednesday, July 28, 2021.  

The one-day training, which was conducted at HMBS CORAL HARBOUR, was taught by Warrant Officers Pedro Rolle and Kermit Turnquest from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force’s Planning Search and Rescue Department. Aspects of the training included: Entering the water correctly off a vessel at sea, Adorning life vests, Towing an injured comrade, and Formation of a circle or an inline.  

“It is important for all sea-going craft personnel to know what to do if the order ‘Abandon Ship’ is called,” said Force Chief Petty Officer Turnquest. “The initial actions of individuals are vital, and if they are to survive, the crew must follow the basic rules of the training which is being taught.”  

The importance of these evolutions is relevant when out at sea because preserving lives is of the utmost in the event the crew has to abandon the ship. Familiarization of the ship, practicing which actions to take in the event of an emergency, and conduct in a life raft, are all pertinent knowledge for the individuals.  

Commanding Officer for HMBS ROLLY GRAY, Lieutenant Themo Berkley was grateful for the training. “The drills gave me a better insight of what actually can happen if the crew was to abandon ship. We perform emergency drills when out at sea, but throwing life rafts overboard and seeing them open was a learning experience. We wish to give our gratitude to the Search and Rescue Department for their time and effort.”  

As the Royal Bahamas Defence Force continues to patrol and protect the territorial waters of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, ongoing training and skill set of the Officers and Marines remain a priority.  

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