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Jul 11, 2008

Coastguard offers summer camp for kids

Story PictureOver the last several weeks, we’ve been previewing and visiting a variety of summer camps … and tonight it’s the Belize Coastguard’s turn. According to the organizers, their camp will give kids the opportunity to test their skills in a whole new way. Jose Sanchez has the details.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting
The Belize Audubon Society and the YWCA are only a couple of organisations with summer camps in session. The Belize Coastguard is no different. It has a two week youth summer program in seamanship and outboard mechanics, the first session which ended today. Lieutenant Elton Bennett, the Coastguard’s operation manager, explained what the kids can learn if they decide to join them.

Lt. Elton Bennett, Operations Manager, Belize Coast Guard
“For the seamanship programme, it included knots, bends and hitches and a little bit of boat handling. For the outboard portion of the course, they a little bit of introduction to the two stroke and four stroke engines and the fuel system and the lubrication system, all about the outboard engines. It’s a good foundation for a maritime trade. They can venture off into fishing, tourism, or any kind of marine activities.”

The kids carried out a wide range of activities including map reading, tying ropes and outboard engines.

Richard Kyte-Powell, Camp Participant
“The first part of the course I learned all the tools and parts of a V-6 two hundred horse power Yamaha engine and then I learned how to take down the engine, put it back up. In the second part of the course I learned how to navigate, learned how to turn on a boat, drive a boat, tie knots and lots of other stuff a seaman should know.”

Francis Staine, Camp Participant
“I learned how fi fix up wah power head M-200, bring it down, name all the parts and we learn how fix the ropes and mek it into different kind of types of ropes.”

Jose Sanchez
“You realise dah engine probably weigh more than you right?”

Francis Staine
“Yes sir.”

Jose Sanchez
“What you like about this camp? Would you recommend it to other young people like yourself?”

Francis Staine
“I like it because yoh know how fi read map, yoh know bout di sea, which direction fi go, how fi drive di boat.”

Lt. Elton Bennett
“These skills are very good for floods, being distressed out at sea and they have a good knowledge of how to handle a boat. They are not qualified, they are not certified to be boat operators, but they have a very good foundation of how to safely maneuver a boat and quickly diagnose engine failure.”

And the kids showed us some of their rope tying and driving skills while maneuvering through crocodile infested waters.

Jose Sanchez
“Would you recommend this camp?”

Richard Kyte-Powell
“Yes, lots. All those kids that are out there doing nothing at home, they should come back here. You’ll really like it. You make new friends, you learn something, do something and learn something constructive and you don’t have to worry about lunch, they’ll feed you.”

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

A second course will start July twenty-first. Call Lieutenant Bennett at 205-2480 for more details.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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