Local boat rescues five men at sea

| 21/09/2015 | 5 Comments

(CNS): Two men aboard a small private vessel rescued five men from the sea on Saturday evening after their boat had capsized near the South Sound Channel. Officers from the Air Operations Unit in the the RCIPS helicopter received a distress call from the capsized boat at around 8pm on 19 September and then found it using its FLIR thermal imager and night-sun capabilities. The AOU crew saw the upturned vessel outside the reef with four people on the hull of the boat and a fifth person swimming toward shore in choppy waters. They then watched as two of the four men were washed off into the sea and away from the hull. 

“Seeing a small vessel about a quarter mile away, the helicopter crew flew to that vessel and, utilizing the Skyshout helicopter public address system, alerted the two men on board of the situation,” an RCIPS spokesperson stated.

“The boat immediately responded, and helicopter crew then illuminated the upturned vessel, guiding the boat to it. The boat’s captain, Nelson Villalobos, and his crewmate then brought the four people on board and also rescued the fifth as the boat headed to shore, where they were met by uniform officers.”

Police said that no one was injured but the capsized boat sank shortly after the rescue.

Thanking Villalobos and his crewmate for their quick response and the use of their boat, AOU Executive Officer Steve Fitzgerald said, “This was a superb example of the police and community working together in an emergency situation to save lives.”

Police marine vessels had responded to the call but did not deploy given the quick response of the nearby boat.

Below: Thermal images taken of upturned boat and its stranded passengers from the police helicopter during the search and rescue

Cayman News Service

Cayman News Service

Cayman News Service

Cayman News Service

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Category: Local News

Comments (5)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Apparently they guy from the office that could tell the plane wheels were down in the other story could have seen this boat as well, saved the helicopter trip. Great job everyone.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure they were all wearing life jackets and didn’t exceed the maximum capacity of the vessel…

  3. Knot S Smart says:

    If I were one of those men who were rescued ‘I would go and sin no more’…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well done!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    GREAT work Nelson!!

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