(Oranjestad)—The islands of Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten have all been chosen by National Geographic to create the series ‘Kustwacht Caribisch Gebied’ (Caribbean Coast Guard), where the day to day life of the coast guard team is showcased.
On Monday night, the first few episodes of the new season were broadcasted to the press and invitees at the Caribbean Cinemas Theater in Aruba. This season once again explores the missions of the Caribbean coast guard around the Aruban, Curacao, Bonaire and Sint Maarten waters, which often involve angst and danger in the prevention of drug and human trafficking, or in other emergency cases.
Shalick Clement, spokesperson for the Caribbean Coast Guard show, signaled in an interview with Aruba Today that the first season premiered back in 2020, and that they have been working with producer Remco Garcia from Goya Productions for 3 years now. Garcia was the one who petitioned for the docu-series about the coast guard for National Geographic, which the network expressed their interest in as well.
Before shooting, they had to go over the pros and cons, because they think it’s important that the public get an insight in what their duty entails, what the challenges look like and how they handle captives and suspects.
“I think the docu-series provides great insight about that, and it’s become successful too. That’s why we film a new season, which we decided to premiere in Aruba so the locals can see what the job entails,” Clement stated.
It is no secret that the coast guard confiscates huge amounts of drug cargo at sea, but this also invites risks for the guards, as they might put themselves and their families in dangerous positions when confronted with people in organized crime. Clement ensures that consent has been asked from the guards who participated in the show prior to shooting. The islands are very small too, and many people know the majority of the cast.
“Whenever we intercept high risk situations where firearms are involved, we always make sure to cover the guards’ faces, so that the criminals can’t know which agents were involved. Even though we deal with criminals, we treat them humanely. We leave the rest to the judge or the Public Ministery to make their own verdict based on evidence and records of the investigation,” Clement finalized.
Additionally, one of the show’s cast members is someone Aruba is already familiar with, due to the fact that this person is a renowned athlete in the sport of bowling on the island. Abigail Dammers, who is the quartermaster at the Coast Guard of Aruba, also stars in the show. It was mentioned to Aruba Today that filming started in 2020 during the pandemic, which stretched out the filming schedule of the first season up to last year: “It was a filming process that lasted about 2 years to get to where we are right now with production,” Dammers said.
Dammer also expressed that this was a once in a lifetime experience for her, seeing as she is an athlete and “it’s not every day that people make a documentary about your job, which will be shown around the world. When they approached me, I initially didn’t want to do it, but I became curious about how it would go, and it was a great experience after all,” she finalized.
The second season of ‘Kustwacht Caribisch Gebied is made up of 8 episodes, and will be premiering on February 12th in The Netherlands. Those interested in watching the series can also find a link on the show’s social media platform. This season will focus on Aruba, as the first season featured the Curacao coast guard.