Following similar exercises in St. Maarten and St. Eustatius, it was Saba’s turn Monday to witness a simulated crash of a small passenger aircraft with several victims as a result. The Fire Brigade, Ambulance Service and Police disturbed the usual quiet on the island as they rushed to the scene to play their parts in the disaster management element of Hurricane Exercise 2012. Normally speaking, the Royal Dutch Marines hurricane exercise in the Caribbean region is concentrated mainly on St. Maarten, but this year the exercise has been extended with disaster trainings on Statia and Saba.
In the morning a simulated airplane crash was held with casualties and wounded to allow disaster management, local authorities and emergency services to practise with a disaster of this calibre. The Royal Marines in the Caribbean region facilitated this largescale exercise. Disaster management also called in the marines for an evacuation of citizens in connection with the passage of a devastating hurricane. Hr.Ms.Pelikaan functioned as transport ship and ensured the evacuation of 160 citizens from Saba. “I am very pleased that we could carry out these simulated aircraft training and hurricane evacuation exercise as a way to test the disaster preparedness of Saba. I further welcome the news from [caretaker] Minister of Defence [Hans Hillen, Ed.] that marines will be placed on St. Maarten to serve our islands”, said Island Governor Jonathan Johnson.