The Customs Department achieved a historic milestone landmark on Friday past with the graduation of fifteen Bahamas Customs Officers from the newly established Bahamas Customs Marine Unit headed by Superintendent Tyrone Palmer. The new members of the Marine Unit underwent eight weeks of intensive customs and maritime training that was coordinated by members of The Bahamas Customs and Excise Department and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force. The training program encompassed eleven disciplines (practical and theory) including search and boarding, navigation, firefighting, weapons handling, seamanship, and fitness training. Royal Bahamas Defence Force course instructors included Chief Petty Officers Terrance Smith and Jonathan Evans and Petty Officers Paul Bain and Carlton Mackey.
The historic graduation ceremony was held at Coral Harbour Base on Friday 10th April. During the ceremony, the Honourable Michael Halkitis, Minister of State for the Ministry of Finance, joined Mr. Turner, the Comptroller of Bahamas Customs, in lauding the Defence Force for its invaluable assistance in contributing to the establishment of the Marine Unit. Minister Halkitis also highlighted the significant role the Marine Unit will play in the efficient collection of revenue among the boating community. Captain Tellis Bethel, Acting Commander Defence Force, assured Mr. Turner of the Defence Force’s commitment to helping the newly established Unit to grow and succeed. Captain Bethel also emphasized the importance of local law enforcement agencies to ‘communicate and collaborate’ to enhance the safety, prosperity and security of The Bahamas.