Search moves to recovery operation

| 11/03/2016 | 31 Comments
Cayman News Service

RCIPS Joint Marine Unit and Panga boat that had been lost at sea

(CNS): After searching almost 2,000 square miles of ocean with no sign of survivors, officials confirmed Friday evening that the RCIPS coordinated search and rescue operation had been declared a recovery. The search for 9-year-old Kanyi and 11-year-old Kamron Brown, their uncle Gary Mullings, Edsell Haylock and Nicholas Watler began on Monday morning, 7 March, after the three men and two boys were reported missing at midnight Sunday. They had last been seen leaving 12 Mile Banks around 3pm or 4pm in a 27-foot Panga.

The boat was not spotted again until Monday morning, when it was seen capsized 20 miles southwest of Grand Cayman and was towed in on Tuesday. There has been no sign of the men or boys.

By Friday, police said that the search area, as defined daily through drift analysis and the data provided, was over one hundred miles offshore.

“Utilizing air assets coordinated with data from the United States Coast Guard buoys and Department of Environment drift information, nearly 2,000 square miles have been searched since the operation began,” officials said.

Senior officers with the RCIPS organised a meeting with family members to inform them of this development.  “Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families at this time,” an RCIPS spokesperson stated.

From the beginning there have been concerns about the police response after the report was made to them and the decision by the RCIPS management not to begin a search operation until daylight. Officials said this was because of the sea conditions, the time since the boat was last recorded and the limitations of the police chopper and marine vessels for offshore nighttime searches.

The opposition leader filed a private member’s motion yesterday requesting an independent public enquiry into everything that had transpired. Just a few hours later, the governor announced that Police Commissioner David Baines had requested that a review of the operation was carried out. Helen Kilpatrick said she would appoint a suitable independent person to conduct the review.

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Comments (31)

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  1. sanya says:

    U all can talk but no one knows the facts please remember all ur comments are also read by the grieving families show some love to them no one knows what happened and no one can say for sure about life vests but one thing is for sure if that was anyone else the rescue would have started and maybe they would be home right now. My heart goes out to the family and I will always say shame on the other e’s who made that call to wait so many hours before starting a rescue every second on the high sea is previous.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or if everyone took off looking for them in the conditions that night we would be looking for more victims. Just because someone does something foolish doesn’t mean a whole lot of other people have to follow suite. The RCIP and the Volunteers should be praised for there efforts…Why didn’t God save them?…he has more resources.

      • Anonymous says:

        Those people needed real help and the only help available to them in their despair was the marine unit, who initially thought it was a smart and strategic judgement call to leave two young boys to the mercy of the ocean. RCIP – We care, we listen and we act.

    • Anonymous says:

      You then do exactly the same to the responders. Talk all you want but stop blaming people that do risk their lives regularly. That boat should not have gone out that afternoon. Simple as that. The sad reseponsibility lies with those exact same relatives that did not contact the authorities until way to late. . And also one boat captain that believed he was invincible and weather forecast were for other people.

  2. Anonymous says:

    When will people in Cayman take responsibility for anything?
    The usual plan is to find someone to blame, RCIPS, helicopter crew, more bigger boats is there no end to this foolishness?
    Safe boating laws enforces, safety gear aboard, safe boating classes, oh and the myth that all Cayman people are excellent seamen is false, get over it.
    This isn’t the first time a boat has been lost going out in conditions where it did not belong.
    The British Coast Guard could set up these classes and instruction.

  3. Anonymous says:

    or maybe there were no life jackets on board because they were ON the children? We need to find the 12 Mile Bank witness and clarify that he saw the adults leave the area without lifejackets, but said the boys were wearing them.

    It also does not change the fact that a “float plan” would have alerted the families that they were missing at sunset and the search should have started before 9PM on the same Sunday night, not mid-morning a day later!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Three adults caused the lost of their lives and took two children with them. Overbearing over confidence in themselves.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I do not know any of the family members, nor do I know anyone at RCIP, so I don’t have the faintest idea of what is fact and what is fiction. What boggles my mind is that so many people on this blog seem to know all the facts!

    How has it been determined that there were no life jackets on board? Who has confirmed this? Is it that everyone assumes that if they wore life jackets they surely must have been found alive? Does this mean that if someone wears a life jacket they can’t possibly drown or die of hypothermia if floating in the sea for several days?

    Do we know if one of the engines was already broken when they headed out, or did it break down while they were out there?

    We pretty much only know the version of events as told publicly by the RCIP and common sense dictates that they surely wouldn’t come out admitting failure or flaws in the process of dealing with this situation, so personally I take everything they say with a grain of salt. Christ it took them how long to admit that umpty pounds of drugs went missing from their lock-up facility and we still have to see any consequence for anyone in relation to this f.u.!!!

    Yes, we all have the responsibility for our own actions and some choices that were made here by some of the family members likely lead to a very unfortunate situation, but let’s not forget that we all have made some stupid choices in our lives and we were just lucky to have survived them or escaped unharmed.

    What is clear from all of this that we can’t rely on anyone to come to our rescue so be sure to remember that. However, from what I have seen again yesterday at Rumpoint with plenty drunken people on boats, it seems the Island has still plenty people left who assume that accidents and misfortune just happens to others.

    And finally, if there is only one pilot who can fly a helicopter for a certain amount of hours any given time…….come on!! Seriously???? Every idiot knows there should be a back-up plan………

    • Anonymous says:

      Now take the self righteous stick out of your backside and remember that the master was negligent for taking his passengers out in weather that had long been forecasted as deteriorating throughout the day.
      I doubt whether this boat did have any safety equipment as life jackets have not been found and neither have the poor souls who should have been wearing them. But that is beside the point because ultimately they shouldn’t have been out there with two young kids in the first place.

  6. Anonymous says:

    In this case I would think its best interest to implement a law or have higher authority ensure that all vessels leaving port or docks are equip with all necessary survival things before departing. This will at least ensure some sort of safety for our people.

    I love fishing but to know many people are not equip most of the time makes me think twice before leaving with anyone on a trip. Be safe at all times. Think Smart!

    The sea is nice but not to play with.

    • Shhhhh. says:

      Check Port Authority Law and I think you will see that it is already law. What is needed is heavier penalties for failure to comply.

      • Anonymous says:

        Would cost wotes. That is why you will hear nothing said about it by politicians.

      • Anonymous says:

        So we have laws we do not enforce? Where have I heard that before? BTW – is it sensible to have a boat painted the same colour as the sea with a black canvas top? Wouldn’t that make it very hard to be seen if people were looking for you? Perhaps that could be something that is looked into?

        • philip says:

          There might be a very good reason why the boat was painted that colour.

          • Anonymous says:

            Thank you. I know we need to respect the dead and the family, so we’ve all restrained ourselves. But since they don’t know how to leave well enough alone and are going to cost the country many more tens of thousands on this debacle of irresponsibility with this judicial review they’re calling for, I think we all know very well why a) the boat captain did not alert the Port Authority as required before they left b) why they went out in bad weather (they had an appointment to keep) c) why they waved that last fisherman on when he ran into them around 3pm and didn’t ask him for help towing them in or whatever (he is the last one to see them alive, and said that NO ONE on board was wearing life jackets – see RCIP interview on Cay 27). Yes, I know, it’s unfathomable to take children out on such a trip, but we need to accept the facts here. Everyone on island knows what is really up here, but out of respect we’ve kept silent on it. But now that they’re going to blow more of our tax money on this foolishness, we have the RIGHT to call it as it is.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Whatever happened, it is still depressing and incredibly sad. Hopefully lessons will be learned.

  8. Carly says:

    So the boat was found around nw point, which was where the flares were seen Sunday evening. This was probably the men and boys desperate for help and they were left out there! Pure incompetence and unnecessary loss of lives. Someone has to pay for this for the sake of the families left behind with no answers

    • Anonymous says:

      You are wrong on every count. Check your facts

    • Rant Over says:

      I doubt if they had a flare gun, if they never had life vests.
      Pure incompetence, and unnecessary loss of lives is correct, but the families need to look closer to home, as to who to blame. As hard as that may be.

      • Anonymous says:

        The brother of the boat owner (who had to miss the trip due to a university presentation that day) is very sensible, respected, and credible. He says the boat had lifejackets and all the latest gadgets- most boaters DO!

        So, whoever started the rumor about no lifejackets was guessing and that cost time and lives…

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you related to mckeewa too?

    • Anonymous says:

      So it wasn’t incompetent to take two young kids out to 12 mile bank without the appropriate safety gear and in weather that had long been expected to turn rough that day?
      Someone always has to pay in these circumstances.
      In this case it was the negligence of the boats master that caused the death of all on board, isn’t that enough of a cost for you?

  9. Sharkey says:

    Dear Ms Governor ,
    please make sure that this independent person is not a kid or Mr Baines , but a person who understands and know what he / she is investigating .
    This one is a serious incompetence one to investigate and many more to investigate and have a proper search and rescue operation put in place with a competent leader that knows and is experienced .

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is a tragedy. The sad truth is if the circumstances were different, let’s say the boys had a prominent last name and the person that made the call to notify the police was connected enough to motivate them to act immediately possibly the boys would still be with us.

  11. Anonymous says:

    In rough seas without life jackets they would have survived a few hours at most.

    • Anonymous says:

      The one fact of the incident where not one of the 5 occupants was found with the capsized vessel could be attributed to no life jackets or floatation device or object, of any form, was available to cling on to. The minimum required on a vessel this size in addition to PFD’s for every occupant the vessel is designed to carry, is a throwable life ring and/ or a floatation safety cushion. All are available locally from several retailers for a minimum outlay. This is both a very regrettable and an avoidable loss for the families & thoughts go out to them at this time

  12. Anonymous says:

    If only a proper investigation had been made of the flare gun signals reported coming from the North West Point area this may have ended differently. Sad!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      But have any of you actually read the prior articles in detail? Maybe you should before voicing an opinion. It says that the helicopter DID investigate the flare of NW Point that night as well as Starfish Point. Maybe you don’t believe that they did, but surely the flight logs and helicopter tracks will be examined during the inquiry? My cousin flies an emergency helicopter in the states, and he says that those sorts of logs cannot be made up, something having to do with it being tracked by the chopper itself. Whatever you think about the police, I don’t believe they would say this if it weren’t true. And the mobile phone went dead already before 4PM… understanding this incident requires close reading, which few people seem to have the patience to do. They’d rather just blame the police, who do not look like the ones to blame in this situation…

      • Anonymous says:

        Did you watch the interview on Cayman 27. They made no mention of that. They mentioned Rum Point but noting else. Seems like a cover up.

        • Anonymous says:

          Actually did say they went out ot sea. And read the later news release and stop be selective on what you want to comment on

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