At around 9.30am on Monday 29 September 2014 the St Helena Emergency Services were notified of a yacht, the ‘Benguela’, which was reporting a problem with its rudder and required assistance. At the time of the initial call the yacht was some 80 miles north of St Helena.

Upon being informed of the situation the St Helena Sea Rescue Boat ‘Lima’ was deployed. Given the sea conditions and the likely action required, support was sought from the Skipper of the Extractor who deployed his boat with the Sea Rescue Boat towards the Benguela. The yacht had limited steering but was able to head, at slow speed, towards St Helena. When it was between 25-30 miles from the Island the rudder failed completely. The Sea Rescue Boat had made good progress and arrived on the scene to ensure the safety of the 7 persons onboard.

Working with the Extractor, the yacht was towed back to St Helena where it arrived at around 8pm last evening. All crews of the Lima, Extractor and Benguela were uninjured but tired after a long rescue deployment.

Chief of Police, Trevor Botting commented:

This was a challenging rescue in heavy seas but the Sea Rescue team, working with the Skipper and crew of the Extractor did a fantastic job in ensuring the safety of the Benguela and its crew. I am grateful to the Skipper of the Extractor for the support given to the Sea Rescue crew but not surprised at the level of support given when needed. Working together, they provided a professional and timely response to those in need in the waters surrounding St Helena.”

Governor Capes praised the excellent response to the distress call:

I commend all those who took part in the rescue operation. Thanks to their courage, professionalism and well honed seafaring skills, the operation ended happily with the safe return of all concerned.”


30 September 2014

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 30 September 2014 with just one item on the Closed Agenda.

The item was a memo on the St Helena Fisheries Corporation Functional Review, and was presented by the Chairman of the Economic Development Committee, supported by the Head of ANRD and the Chairman of the Fisheries Corporation.

ExCo was asked to agree in principle the St Helena Fisheries Corporation Review recommendations, subject to budget approval. Approval in principle was given.

In Any Other Business the Governor and ExCo recognised yesterday’s successful rescue of the ‘Benguela’ yacht and thanked the Island’s Fire & Rescue Services and Extractor team for ensuring the safety of the yacht and her crew.

At a previous meeting of Executive Council, it was agreed that subject to ministerial approval, the Airport should be named St Helena Airport. This name was strongly supported by aviation industry experts as it has instant recognition for all passengers and will allow potential visitors to easily access information about the Airport, flight bookings and the Island. Council noted today that ministerial approval had been received.

This was a short session and the meeting ended at 10.15am.


30 September 2014

Island-Wide Chicken Vaccination Programme

The Agriculture and Natural Resources Division (ANRD) would like to advise the public that there have been 3 further outbreaks of Newcastle Disease in chickens, in and around the New Ground area.

All live chickens in the affected area have been culled and quarantine conditions established for the associated poultry units.

To help stop the spread of the disease ANRD will from Monday, 6 October 2014 commence an Island-Wide Vaccination Programme to run over the coming weeks.

The programme will begin in St Paul’s and Half Tree Hollow and extend to other districts when these two districts are completed and vaccine supplies become available to ANRD.

The success of the programme is dependent on the support of poultry keepers who are urged to follow the simple measures provided in the attached information sheet.

ANRD will be promoting the vaccination programme via the radio over the coming week.

Vaccination to Protect Chickens Against Newcastle Disease – 29 September 2014


29 September 2014


The second formal session of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will take place on Tuesday 7 October 2014 at 10am in the Court House, Jamestown.

The meeting will be open to the public and broadcast live via SAMS Radio 1.

The Order Paper for the meeting is detailed below and appropriate officers will answer questions on their respective item.

1.         Chairman’s Address

2.         Enterprise St Helena Financial Statements for Year Ended 31 March 2013

3.         St Helena Fisheries Corporation Financial Statements for Year Ended 31March 2013

4.         St Helena News Media Services Financial Accounts for Two Year Period Ended 31 March 2013

5.         St Helena Currency Fund Accounts 2012-2013

6.         Performance Audit Report: Delivering Government Objectives

7.         Follow-up Action to PAC Report of 10 February 2014

8.         Public Accounts Committee: Terms of Reference

9.         Public Accounts Committee: Reporting Mechanism



29 September 2014

In July this year an SHG press release highlighted a change in entry regulations for persons travelling with children under the age of 18 to South Africa. The date that was previously announced for this change was 1October 2014.  This date has been changed and revisions will now be put into effect from 1June 2015.

From 1June 2015 parents may be asked to show an Immigration Officer a full birth certificate (including both parents’ names) for all travelling children.  This applies even when both parents are travelling with their own children into South Africa and has been introduced in an attempt to reduce instances of child trafficking through South Africa.  This is not specific to St Helena – it applies to all children travelling through all South African sea and air ports. The revised regulations apply both to South African citizens and to visitors.

For children born on St Helena, birth certificates can be obtained from the Customer Service Centre in Jamestown.  For those children born in the UK, the following address may be used to order a replacement birth certificate:   Sufficient time should also be allowed ahead of your departure from St Helena to receive the certificate by post from the UK.  A one day despatch service is available.  Services vary in other countries.

Until the 1 June 2015, there is no country specific guidance for parents travelling with children to South Africa.  However, single parents, or a parent travelling alone with their child or those travelling abroad with children for whom they do not have parental responsibility, should generally obtain an affidavit or letter of authority from person(s) with parental responsibility prior to travel. General UK guidance is available online at:

There remains no change to Ascension Island or UK entry controls relating to children at this time.

Further information is available from the Immigration Office in Ogborn House, Jamestown – telephone no: (00290) 22626.


29 September 2014


A reception hosted by HE Governor and Mrs Capes was held last evening (Thursday 25 September) at Plantation House, to present Acts of Bravery Awards to those involved in the successful rescue of Mr Deon March of Blue Hill on 2 August 2013.

Scott Crowie receiving his award
Scott Crowie receiving his award

Governor Capes welcomed invited guests, including SHG officials and family and friends of awardees, and remarked:

“Deon March will never forget where he was on 2 August 2013, he will always remember that night as the night he was rescued by some very brave Saints.” 

Noting the courage and team spirit that resulted in a successful rescue, Chief of Police Trevor Botting added:

“There are certain jobs, such as fire and rescue where you are expected to go to locations which people are running away from and into buildings where people are leaving.  Tonight’s awardees had to scale some dangerous terrain to assist with this rescue and made a judgement decision to stay the night where they found Mr March.” 

Jason Lawrence with his partner and mum
Jason Lawrence with his partner and mum

Governor Capes then awarded Certificates of Acts of Bravery to those who took part in the rescue mission.

Awards were presented to: Martin Peters, Russell Clingham, Joseph Oliver, Damien Stevens, Kyle Yon, Scott Crowie, Christian Phillips, Daniel Yon, Craig Scipio, Jason Lawrence, Alan Thomas and Michael Pretty (no longer residing on Island).

Governor Capes concluded:

“What you did that night displays your commitment to your job, to the community and to St Helena, thank you.”

Four pictures are attached to this release.

Note to Editors:  On Friday, 2 August 2013, Dion March was rescued after falling from a cliff at Barren Ground.


Fire Fighters
Fire Fighters


Fire Fighters
Fire Fighters


26 September 2014

Following Tuesday’s (23 September 2014) decision in Executive Council to support the development of a Hotel in Jamestown, SHG and ESH are working together to take this project forward.

Councillor Lawson Henry commented:

“In taking this decision, Executive Council was mindful of the risks to Government in making this intervention but these were far outweighed by the benefits to the Island and the enormous investment the British Government made in the Airport project for St Helena.  I was mindful too, of the undertakings that SHG made in the Memorandum of Understanding in doing our part in ensuring that important infrastructure development would be in place by or shortly after our Airport becomes operational. 

“Executive Council sees the hotel development project as a catalyst for other economic development that will complement other local initiatives. I would like to publicly commend  and thank all those officers of SHG and ESH who are involved in this project, for their hard work over many months in bringing this proposal  to the table, to all members of Legislative Council for their advice and finally to our colleagues in DFID for their on-going support.”

Chief Secretary Roy Burke added:

“I am grateful to all my colleagues, politicians and officials alike, for the enormous amount of work that has gone in to getting to this point.  This has been a challenging project to work on and the hard work starts now as we initiate a project to establish a hotel in Lower Jamestown. SHG will seek to ensure that all the appropriate procedures are followed and that we get a facility that we can all be proud of: one that enhances the experience of St Helena for both locals and visitors. We are at an exciting point in our development and this decision sends a clear message that St Helena is open for business.”

Susan O’Bey from Enterprise St Helena concluded:

“We are very pleased at the decision taken in Executive Council to support this Hotel Development. The Jamestown Hotel is an exciting project, it keeps with the heritage of Jamestown and fits very well with our plans to grow the economy organically. 

“At ESH we are now seeing existing accommodation providers coming forward with plans to develop their establishments and we have also had discussions with local investors who are planning to build new accommodation facilities. This means that we will be able to offer tourists a variety of places to stay throughout the Island, ranging from the high quality hotel experience, to guest houses and self-catering facilities. The impact that all of this growth will have on other sectors including construction, agriculture and fisheries is significant.”



26 September 2014

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 23 September, for a special meeting to consider the development of a hotel in Jamestown. It is well recognised by tourism industry experts that hotel accommodation of a high standard is required to support our tourism sector, post-Airport opening.

Council approved the option to develop the Government-owned property at 1, 2 and 3 Main Street as a 4-star hotel, with a minimum of 30 bedrooms, plus a restaurant and bar to cater for up to 90 people,

In addition to the three buildings on Main Street, there will be a new building constructed at the rear to provide accommodation, including hotel rooms with disabled access.  The development will be subject to planning permission.

This 4-star hotel will complement other local initiatives in developing tourist accommodation, and will serve as a catalyst for economic development, including the involvement of local producers and service providers.

Executive Council also considered an option for the development of a larger hotel at the Waterfront and approved the exploration of this option for the future.

Further detailed design work will now proceed for the development of 1, 2 and 3 Main Street as a quality hotel. The public will be kept informed and will have an opportunity to view the plans and drawings once these have been finalised.

Executive Council also noted a positive meeting last night at the Rock Club to consult on the development of a Solar Farm around the site of the current rifle range at Half Tree Hollow.  A presentation was well received and a number of questions were addressed.  There was overwhelming support for the project and the expected long term benefits to St Helena.


23 September 2014

David Honan
David Honan

David Honan has recently arrived on Island for a two year contract in the Police Service, where he will specialise as a Sexual Offences Investigator.  He will form part of the Safeguarding team, which focuses on law enforcement and education on prevention of abuse crimes.

David said:

“There have been issues raised recently where there have been some inappropriate relationships between teenagers and adults. We are looking at a number of things, including increasing our visibility through the schools.   It is our job to make sure the youth in our society are aware of the risks, allowing them to make informed decisions about their own wellbeing.”

An Achieving Best Evidence course is soon to commence in the Police Service, to assist Police Officers and staff in Social Services to collect the best evidence when carrying out interviews and working together.  David is keen to work closely with all relevant agencies on St Helena, so that the total effort becomes more effective in terms of overall delivery.

David commented:



“I am keen on local Saint Officers filling the roles within safeguarding.  It is important to build on their experience and local knowledge.  And the Achieving Best Evidence course will help local Officers to build their skills and knowledge, thus helping to increase confidence of their role within the community.” 

David is also an experienced CID Officer, so his secondary role on Island will be to investigate and deal with serious crimes.  David has served with the North Wales Police for the last twenty years, focusing on public protection issues.

The Sexual Offences Investigator is a new role, and David highlighted:

“This appointment demonstrates that St Helena Government is committed to dealing with safeguarding issues that have arisen recently.  SHG takes very seriously the issue of sexual abuse.” 

If you would like to report a sexual or domestic offence, please call:

  • Police Confidential Helpline    22888
  • Emergency Line                        999 or
  • General Enquires                      22626


23 September 2014

Plans are swiftly progressing for this year’s Careers Fair to be held on Wednesday 15 October 2014 at Prince Andrew School, from 10am-5pm.

The annual Careers Fair is an opportunity for potential job seekers and those interested in career development, to give and receive information on career development and job opportunities on St Helena.

So far 20 businesses and services have signed up to the Fair to deliver the theme of promoting careers and career development post-Basil Read – showcasing the opportunities that will be available on-Island once Basil Read employment has reduced and the Airport is operational.

The Prince Andrew School Hall will be arranged for visitors to browse the various stalls and see what each organisation has to offer, look at their displays and ask any questions.

Throughout the day there will also be short presentations from various organisations including the Police, Fire and Rescue Service, St Helena National Trust, Education, School of Nursing and Enterprise St Helena.

Work Development Coordinator Cynthy Bennett, leading the event, encourages people to attend. She said:

“The Careers Fair is for all, young and old. This is a chance to inspire yourselves and others into personal and career development, looking beyond the Airport opening. Each year, together, we aim to improve over the year before and I have every confidence that this is going to be achieved again in 2014.”

All are encouraged to attend to see what careers are on offer on St Helena and how best they can work towards achieving their own career aspirations.


19 September 2014