Search underway for boat, 2 kids 3 adults aboard

| 07/03/2016 | 29 Comments
Cayman News Service

Boat missing off Grand Cayman, last seen Sunday afternoon, 6 March 2016

(CNS): The police are carrying out a search and rescue operation for a 28-ft boat carrying five passengers: two boys, aged 9 and 11, and three men. The RCIPS said the vessel left on a fishing trip Sunday morning at around 11am but they were not informed that it was missing until after midnight Monday morning. Police said they “immediately made arrangements for a search-and-rescue operation to begin at daylight”, but sources told CNS that people close to the families involved are angry that the RCIPS Air Support Unit was not launched immediately.

The vessel was last spotted between 3pm and 4pm leaving 12-Mile Bank, around six miles west of Grand Cayman, heading for shore with just one engine working. Other vessels appear to have been alerted to the fact that a boat was missing Sunday evening and a cargo ship that had left George Town was asked to use its radar to help.

The missing boat has a blue top with a white interior and twin 85hp Yamaha engines.

An RCIPS spokesperson said that the police search began at first light and all boats, cruise ships and the US Coast Guard have been alerted to the missing vessel’s description and picture. A Silver Command Centre has been established at the marine base to coordinate the search.

Anyone who sees a vessel of this description or has any information should contact the George Town Police Station at 949-4222.

People are invited to gather on the lawn of the Glass House today at 12:15 to pray for those missing at sea. The prayer session is being organised by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and family members of the fishermen are expected to attend. Organisers said they are asking the whole country to pray for the safe return of those who are missing.

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Comments (29)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is not the first time people have gone missing in a small boat and in bad weather. Its happening all over again. Boaters missing and families looking for answers. These people should have known not to go in such conditions, especially with young children. It hurt having to read about stories like this. If bad weather is aproaching and seas are rough, take a chance by yourselves (Adult) and not take young kids or don’t go at all. Its called ‘COMMON SENSE’. I’m praying for the families.

  2. RCIPS bumbles again says:

    This is not a POLICE matter. It is a SAFETY matter. Hence, as the Fire Department is the head of SAFETY, in tandem with the Hazard Management Department, we need to establish a Coast Guard. They will need proper boats. A helicopter with pontoons and a rescue winch, trained deep sea rescue divers, etc.

    Also, the statement about there only being one pilot available is a bunch of horseradish. They could have easily hired someone from Cayman Helicopters or seconded a pilot from Cayman Airways. Whoever made that call should be demoted or fired immediately.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Prayers to those missing and their families. One love

  4. Wanda says:

    It is always easier for someone that is not nearby or aware of the conditions far away-Hoping that all is located safe. I do agree that in rough seas they can’t launch smaller craft out for S&R no matter how much we would want that. I have been there on a cruise ship and due to conditions we sit there out there watching small boats going in and out in very rough conditions and it was scary watching them. Conditions to search at night with infra to pickup is hard also. Since this isn’t US waters you run into other issues also.

  5. Carol Cooper says:

    Hind sight is always 20/20! Surely in this day and age, adults need to practice safety measures. Life jackets, safety equipment, flares, etc. All the police in the world can’t help if we don’t do the first steps. Boat safety on bad weather!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sorry to be reading about this and still hoping for a miracle that all are found safe and sound. It does upset me considerably to see once again everyone pointing blame, especially towards those wanting to help. If you choose to go bunjy jumping, racing ( any type or form) biking or adventuring you better be ready to take responsibility for your decisions. Don’t think it is someone else’s fault for not coming out to rescue you quick enough when you make a bad decision or just have bad luck.
    Rough seas, safety equipment is cheaper than cell phones now including gps trackers.
    ACR 2881 ResQLink+ PLB Floats 2881
    $300 for a personal rescue device ” designed for anglers & adventurers ”
    For those of you who choose to go out this looks like a good option.

  7. Sharkey says:

    I really think that this action by Cayman Islands police department , should be a other complaint that Mr Bush should ad on , and everyone on the Island should get behind him to get rid of this kind of leadership leading the police department. .
    How disgraceful the police can go out any hour of the night to get drugs ,and have it stolen from them , but can’t go and search for human lives until it might be too late .

    I hope and pray that they are all safe and make it back home .

    • The Watcher says:

      It is distressing to read that this topic has been hijacked and used as a vehicle for a political agenda against the police and Commissioner.

  8. Andy Worhol says:

    It never helps that there was a boat load of idiots shooting off flares last night giving the Marine Unit and the Chopper the run around.

    People need to read the story again, it was only reported this morning.

    Police are damned if they do damned if they dont. Stop being haters and support the men that are out in 6 ft + seas looking for these people that decided incoming windy weather was a great time to go fishing WITH KIDS.

    I pray they are found safe and the men and women that are all working hard to find them return home safe also.

  9. seahorse says:

    The police disgust me, they were not willing to go look for the vessel last night, because apparently it was to dark, even though they are 2 young boys hopefully drifting at sea, you police should be ashamed of yourselves, if anything happens to those 2 boys, its on your hands, oh by the way I hear 20hrs later the police get there act together and the boat breaks down. KMT

  10. Anonymous says:

    Firstly can I say I hope the people are found safely. The marine search and rescue facilities in Cayman are a disgrace. According to VHF transmissions the police eventually tried to join in the search this morning with one vessel “Guardian” and they managed to hit the props on the reef and had to return to dock. The pilots of the helicopter weren’t there first thing this morning to begin the search at first light and when the helicopter did report that it had spotted a vessel south of 12 mile bank it couldn’t stay on patrol as it was low on gas. It doesn’t seem to have a problem staying airborne on numerous evenings. The police were told about this long before midnight and they didn’t want to do anything.
    The bottom line is that if the police are unable or unwilling to provide assistance then another agency needs to be set up to do so. It is pathetic. As usual private citizens and companies are stepping up to the plate and doing their best. Time and time again this lack of action happens and then a press release comes out saying with a completely different version of what happened. Most of the time it can be laughed about. This time it looks like it could have very serious consequences. My thoughts go out to the families.

    • Andy Worhol says:

      The props hit the reef as there were 7 ft waves knocking them around so much, almost caused injury to officers doing their job for the small lil pay they get). Officers who have wives, mothers and kids of their own.

      Instead of knocking the police, where is the onus on the parent taking kids out in such weather.

      C’mon really this is a b*tching session about police again.

      • Anonymous says:

        It would be very rough going through the channel but other boats have gone out today with private citizens out there now looking for these people. The police boats are damaged regularly by lack of care. It shouldn’t be about what they get paid. The people out there now aren’t getting paid. It’s incredible they didn’t go out at first light rather than waiting until 9am as reported. It’s not a case of knocking the police it’s a case of expecting an emergency service that has been well provided with equipment to deal with emergency situations.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe if Captain Ineptitude read the manual and practiced how to operate their vessel. It really shouldn’t be THAT hard to exit your HOME operating base channel – for crying out loud. Zero sympathy for these idiots, and deepest sympathies for the families grieving.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not trying to trash the police here as I know it a tough job… But this is ridiculous!

        First respondents are SUPPOSED to be trained and equipped for rescue missions in severe weather. They are SUPPOSED to put their lives at risk for others that the damn job! You’re NOT supposed to wait until blue skies and daylight to send first respondents to help a family that is potential drowning. What utter rubbish. If you can’t send send a rescue mission in 15-20 knot winds at night, then you better find a new rescue mission team.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is outrageous. If there were other marine vessels at 12 mile bank at 4pm that saw them and knew these four were in the midst of a marine disaster – limping back on one engine in a 24+kt headwind – then why the hell didn’t they stop and render assistance as they were obliged to do under UNCLOS? Why didn’t they relay that info on Channel 16 and get the marine unit and chopper thermal camera out there? How could anyone wave goodbye to that life and death situation and accelerate into the distance? The chopper was in the air at that time, hovering idle high over Barkers.

  12. Holy Cow says:

    Can our police only search the sea at night for plant matter and not for children?

  13. Caymanian says:

    Heavenly Father, we pause in Your presence and ask for your mercy and protection to be extended to the two children and three men that are currently missing at sea. We believe that they will be found safe, although possibly shaken, alive and well in Jesus Name. We also know that they are not outside the scope of your radar and that nothing is impossible with you. We thank you in advance for the miracle that is being birthed even now Lord, and may you now send the specific resources to the exact location for them to be rescued. May You also touch the eyes, ears and minds of all involved, giving them wisdom, knowledge and understanding which will allow them to hear from You and be guided accordingly in Jesus Name. We also ask for your protection of the RCIPS and everyone involved and may they work together in love and unity as though these individuals were their family members, never losing hope and never giving up until they are rescued! May we all as a community pull together and pray for those at sea waiting to be rescued as well as their family members. May God grant and sustain each one with His comfort and strength in Jesus Name. Amen.

    I will continue to be in much prayer for this family and especially the five precious souls at sea. Rest assure God is on the job and He hears our prayers, just have faith, trust Him and thank Him as though it has already been done.


  14. Anonymous says:

    Good to see the police have joined the search 12 hours after they were reported missing!

  15. Anonymous says:

    No point in the chopper going out in the dark unless the vessel had a flare gun.
    Somehow I doubt it did but hopefully it is just disabled and all will be safe.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pretty sure the helicopter is equipped with infra-red / night vision, which can pick out body heat in the dark

      • Anonymous says:

        In fact, we’ve been told those toys ONLY work at night. Total failure. Meanwhile, they were hovering high over Barkers last night pointed into the Easterlies – looking out to north sound. Friends of these grieving families should subpoena the flight recorder from last night’s flight before that goes missing too.

    • Anonymous says:

      They have infrared and night vision. How do you think they catch drug smugglers!? There is no excuse for how the police have handled this! None what so ever!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ever heard of FLIR, you know, infrared technology that enables aircraft or boats to see in the dark?
      The RCIPS chopper certainly has it, so as important as flare guns are, they are not necessary to conduct a search during the hours of darkness.
      It’s about time that all boats on Cayman were required by law to carry minimum levels of safety equipment, including flares, life jackets and VHF.

    • Anonymous says:

      The chopper has thermal cameras……

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