Medical Evacuation Vessel added to SVG Coast Guard Service

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The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) will on Thursday (Oct. 15) hand over to the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF), the SVG 05 Balliceaux vessel to add to its fleet at the SVG Coast Guard Service.

It is the only Medical Evacuation (medivac) vessel within the Regional Security System (RSS) membership countries, according to the RSVGPF.

Speaking about the development while on XtremeFM on Tuesday (Oct. 14) morning, Director of Grenadines Affairs, Edwin Snagg said, “Tomorrow, there is going to be the delivery of a vessel at the Coast Guard base out at Calliaqua, specifically designed for the evacuation of persons and carrying all the necessary facilities to provide the type of service that is needed to take people out.”

Vessel landing at the Kingstown Port on Tuesday (Oct. 13).

Snagg noted that an emergency airlift service, that residents of the Grenadines have been calling for comes at a cost.

“We hear this all the time, where people talk about an emergency airlift. Of course I would love an emergency airlift. I would love to see a chopper come in and lift people up with immediate effect and take them out… but that has a cost.”

The Director of Grenadines Affairs informed that the medivac vessel was bought at a cost of $2 million to serve the Grenadines.

In response to a question about where the vessel would be based, Snagg said, “There is a coast guard base in Canouan that provides security and search and rescue, so we expect that it will be based in Canouan.”

Snagg touched on health care in the Southern Grenadines:

“What you have is a small hospital and there are certain procedures, certain equipment, there are situations in which you will have to  head for mainland St. Vincent. We chose to live in the Grenadines… all of us who live there know that you could only have limited facilities, let us not fool our self.

…You can’t have a state of the art hospital in one of the islands in the Grenadines. There must be a principal place and that is at Milton Cato (Memorial Hospital).”