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    Belize coast guard sailor still at the helm during Tradewinds 2015

    Belize coast guard sailor still at the helm

    Courtesy Photo | BELIZE CITY, Belize -- The 900-horsepower Safe boat, commanded by Petty Officer 2nd...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

    BELIZE CITY, Belize - Petty Officer 2nd Class Edward Lawrence, a coxswain in the Belize coast guard is still at the helm of his high powered chase boat 23 years after joining the military.

    One of the first Sailors to enter the Belize Coast Guard when the force was formed 10 years ago - branching off from the Belize Defense Force, Maritime Division, a branch of the military, Lawrence had already served for 13 years.

    "There are only about eight of us left," he said. "I think it's safe to say I'm the most experience coxswain in the Coast Guard."

    The 40-foot rigid-hull inflatable boat he captains is powered by three 300 horsepower engines - enough it give it a top speed of close to 45 knots.

    "The boat is designed to chase and capture other boats and it's something we do from time to time. Not long ago we needed the speed to capture smugglers who we found with 20 kilos of cocaine. I don't think they were too happy to find we had the speed to stop the shipment."

    The boat is American built and Lawrence was sent to Norfolk, Virginia to train with the U.S. Navy.

    Despite his years at sea, his seniority in the service and pride in his boat, his crew still find him an easy captain to serve.

    "23 years?! I knew he was old, but not that old," said crewmember Seaman Carmie Puck. "I've served with him seven years already and he's still the same now as he was then - easy to work with."



    Date Taken: 06.17.2015
    Date Posted: 06.18.2015 00:14
    Story ID: 167057
    Location: BELIZE CITY, BZ 

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