GFD urged to provide more rescue resources down south

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Last month, news of a local business assisting in a water rescue garnered much praise from the community but it also highlighted a critical need for more resources in the south.

Local businessman Jeff Pleadwell stepped up to the plate in helping to save lives after he saw a need and the government’s lack of resources.

“We’re alert we are ready to go and we’ve been asked many times by GFD to go check on situations or when they have somebody in Talofofo bay. Even they call us and ask us to go help. I don’t mind, I don’t want to be relied on and that’s what happens now. Sometimes they don’t even come. I just do the rescue myself,” Pleadwell said.

Pleadwell says this happens because GFD lacks water resources like launching points to respond quickly to marine incidents.

“There used to be one at Ylig and when they built that Accion hotel, they took it out for some reason, very bad. If ever they have sort of airplane crash out here or a boat in trouble, the rescuers are going to have to come from either Agat or Merizo,” he said.

Pleadwell says time is lost when rescuers have to come from Agat or Merizo as a rip current from that area makes it hard to get through.

GFD Spokesman Kevin Reilly says they currently respond to marine incidents on the eastern side from Pago Bay and the Agat Marina. GFD is pushing to get a boat ramp on the eastern side of Guam as there is no suitable boat launch area and Pago Bay is only accessible with jet skis.

“We have been assisting other agencies such as GEDA, the Department of Agriculture, and the Guam Police Department to try and secure funding to build a boat ramp at the Talofofo Bay,” Reily said.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.