Volunteer boat owners needed as search continues

| 07/03/2016 | 34 Comments
Cayman News Service

RCIPS Joint Marine Unit vessel, the Niven D

(CNS): The RCIPS is issuing a call for volunteers as the search and rescue operation for five people missing at sea continues. The Joint Marine Unit is asking for experienced boaters with vessels of 50 feet or more in length to join the operation tomorrow (Tuesday 7 March), which will begin around 8am.

The search for the two boys and three men who have been missing at sea since Sunday afternoon will be conducted in concert with the US Coast Guard’s C-130 plane, which was deployed until dark this evening and will begin again in the morning.

“As seas are expected to be rough tomorrow as they are today, we are again asking for experienced boaters only,” an RCIPS spokesperson said.

The Panga boat was found capsized today but at 5:45pm Monday evening there was no sign of the missing passengers, though debris from the boat had been found close to where the vessel was located.

Those who are able to join tomorrow’s operation should call the Joint Marine Unit at 649-7710 and leave their details with officers.  They will be contacted at 7:00am with further instructions.

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Category: Police

Comments (34)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    OMG! it is NOT about who is to blame or who is wrong or who didn’t do enough to help! ALL ENERGY negative or positive should be focused on finding all those who are missing… NO ONE; police, relatives, friends etc HAS ALL THE FACTS so lets stop speculating and help if you can and say a prayer if you can’t help physically! what happened to CAYMAN KIND?? stop the trash talking and make ur selves useful!

    • Jason jurgens says:

      Everyone can XXXX off if they don’t know what they are talking about and never been on boat, I know they are very experienced boaters and great fishermen again XXXX off and let it be,I just pray they get home, thanks and XXXX anomise
      My name is JASON JURGENS

  2. Anonymous says:

    Listening to rooster radio this morning, a man called in and said he saw the flare from the boat but didn’t think anything of it so didn’t call for help, if this is true, then all I can say is I wish someone with some sense had seen it and known to call 911, probably could of saved some lives if not all of them.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is with great sadness and with Heartfelt prayers I send this email. To all of those out searching, and those that are supporting the families at this tragic time our grateful appreciation from here in Canada. It saddens me to be reading some of the emails that I’ve seen here. It is time for the community to support, not to lay blame. In Grief, often things can be said that cannot be taken back later. And blame can be vocalized based on misinformation. There will be a time to try and sort out all the conflicting information as to who did or didn’t do what and to provide the education and Lobby for reform. All I know is that our family truly appreciated the love and kindness that was shown to our daughter by her lost friend and his family and friends when she lived in your wonderful community. Our love, caring and prayers go out to you – the family, friends, and all those striving so hard to help.

  4. CIreal says:

    Why did the family member on land wait so long to call the police, surely when it got dark someone tried to call them on the boat. Without get an answer say by 730-8pm I would have been on the phone to the police if my child was out there or did they have someone to else going on instead of fishing and the family new they would be coming in late at night.

    It makes me sick, that people seem to be blaming everyone except the 3 adults for taking these kids out in this sort of weather. .

  5. bazza says:

    Listen the police were notified before 12am, they were not interested in helping because who was on the boat, if a civilian, 5 pirates can go out in the middle of the night in there boats & search,but the police couldn’t, the civilian is the one who called the US coastguard to assist not the police, it was these same people who went to the port authority & got help, not the police, they searched throughout the night no sleep, these guys deserve a medal, because the only thing that was on there mind is 2 young boys, who probably cant swim, the police in the meeting yesterday didn’t even have an contingency plan, they still don’t even know what to do, remember the police will try & wash this one & say all phones line went dead at 3pm sunday afternoon, when in reality one of the phones were still ringing 7pm sunday & that’s a fact!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Boat safety in Cayman is a tragedy. No policing of registration, safety equipment, operational knowledge and vessel inspection. Over confidence from just being raised on an island or buying a used boat is pervasive and dangerous. We pray Life Vests were onboard and put on when the first engine went down. How many lives in the past ten years, in Cayman’s waters, have been lost due to no real policing of boat safety?

    • Anonymous says:

      Hear Hear! Simple arrogance and ignorance. Let ME tell you that our Seafaring “founding fathers” would not approve of today’s arrogant disrespect for the sea. They followed a code and made sure.vessels were as safe as could be.
      With today’s GPS technology and super cheap safety gear every boat going out the channel should weather a capsize.
      See: http://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvisor/Safe-Boating-Checklist

      Please, please, please Cayman politicians…find this an urgent time NOW to pass LAWS and huge FINES if any Caymanian or resident leaves a dock without safety kits in a sund boat. No more lost children lives cuz grown men don’t like life-jackets?

      Wake up Cayman, there is NO SHAME in safety, just smarts….

    • anonymous says:

      Agree. Boat kill switches must be mandatory for example. But passing a law without implementing it won’t save anyone. There is this Protection from domestic violence law, but did it save a young woman from being barbarically murdered?

  7. Anonymous says:

    It is the responsibility of the boat owner to insure the safety of all on board. The blame lies with him alone.

    • Anonymous says:


      • Anonymous says:

        Perhaps you should not be reading this site due to the fact that it is open to the public and the public may write comments you may not necessarily agree with. However, if the owner was aware that there were no life vests or any other saftey equipment on board, that vessel should not have been taken out to sea especially with two babies on board.

    • Anonymous says:

      Precisely. Don’t blame the police . It is also the boat owners responsibility to check the weather in advance of any boat outing. It is the boat owners responsibility to check the condition of the boat, engines & safety equipment as well as to know the limitations of that vessel.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think that we all need to be sensitive to the family members as they are going through a difficult time right now….

      • The Bitter Pill says:

        Then they should stop reading this site. The rest of us are thinking about how to prevent such tragedies in the future.

    • Private says:

      You have no idea what happened as you weren’t there, were you? Even the best captains with the best emergency plans can run into trouble. Weather here can be unpredictable as can the sea. Blaming people, especially someone who is missing, is completely uncalled for now or ever. This family needs love and support from the community not criticism, opinions, and pointed fingers.

      • Anonymous says:

        People are responding to the blame being heaped on the police.

      • Anonymous says:

        Put the blame where it belongs. The police cannot be held responsible for this. Three grown men made a group decision that cost 5 people their lives. If they had used a bit of common sense this would never have happened. The police response or lack there of was just another ramification of those men’s actions.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The fact that we have to appeal for volunteer boat owners is also distressing. A few years ago we invested in FOUR ‘state-of-the-art’ boats for our Marine Unit. If there is an issue with their maintenance we need to get that resolved as a matter of National urgency. It is a situation like the present one where all available assets are needed. The only boat I have seen mentioned in any news reports recently is Niven D. What about Cayman Guardian, Cayman Defender and Tornado? Prayers are with all of those missing at sea and their family members.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Police were not notified at supper time Sunday; they were notified just before midnight according to the report and launched a search at daybreak. stop complaining and go and assist if you are able to do so..

    • Anonymous says:

      Okay so police were NOT notified Sunday at suppertime…So RULE number 1 ignored: (file a float plan with a family member) I’m sure all the fishermen on the tournament and at the banks would have turned around at sunset to look for these children!! no one knew they did not come back until after dark?

      I think we ALL agree that better education and enforcement of water safety is urgently needed.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I hope everyone is fine

  11. SKEPTICAL says:

    This is an indescribable tragedy in the making, but also the sad consequence of people who seem to have had no understanding of the preparation and precautions you need to make/take when venturing out on open waters. It is impossible to to comprehend the grief the families may have to suffer.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Its really ashamed that the police couldn’t act quickly to the situation…

    • Anonymous says:

      Ok so the police not on red alert until Sunday at 11PM, but to wait until 8:30AM was waaay too late to head out- The organization of this rescue should have been throughout the night getting the marine unit & vessels ready and as soon as calm (even 4AM?) away they speed? What was the delay until 8AM? 5:30AM out the channel so they would be 1/2 way there by sunrise would have been the marine unit best practice preparation.

      I DO think our Marine Unit is LACKING!!! No Rum Point DUI enforcement, No free boating safety classes offered??
      What about Cayman Guardian, Cayman Defender and Tornado? WTF???
      We hear of these cases once or twice a year….yet they STILL HAPPEN? This is poor leadership and seamanship, period.

      I’m a safe boater for 30 years and every weekend I “*sigh” at Rum Point for the lack of basic water rules-of-the road right of way, anchoring techniques, morons letting kids sit on a speeding bow, babies without life-jackets, the list goes on (and it should not.) Marine Police wake up, install some best practice (RNLI) and get some teeth.

      Boy scouts get your badge in water safety and adults: please grow up and realize that a life-jacket ON when OFFSHORE is macho and cool. (not having one on is just arrogant stupidity and ignorant lack of respect for the sea.)

      • Shhhhh. says:

        A point of fact for you – there is NO DUI law in the Port Authority Law which governs marine matters. Why don’t you educate yourself and read it before your next contribution on marine matters. Yet another case of “Get the facts first ….”.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It’s really a shame that the police couldn’t act quickly to the situation….

  14. Anonymous says:

    The fundamental performance disconnect that afflicts the RCIPS is that accident investigations and/or Daylight Search and Rescue should begin an hour before first light, so that you are at the scene at first light, not at 8am after a good night’s rest, coffee, and a leisurely breakfast.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Thats the law that should be changed…all boat owners should have mandatory life jackets if not they get a hefty fine…this is the second boating accident that has happened with a child or children taken out during bad weather and never returning….

    • Anonymous says:

      It is already in the law but not enforced

      • Shhhhh. says:

        Wonder why? Check out what the fines are for these offenses. Maybe time for sentencing options review and then vigorous enforcement action.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Why is this soooo late? Police were notified at supper time Sunday when the children did not come home. A simple “WhatsApp” group for Tournament local fishermen and emergency phone tree would have alerted the groups to search?

    Waiting until Tuesday to search for children lost at sea just turns my sad stomach.
    So much social media at our technology grasps (within seconds) and we are now on “Tuesday?” to organize?
    Shame, shame, shame….

    Just have a look at the SUCCESS of RNLI saving hundreds of lives in ice cold treacherous water every year (without Govt) http://rnli.org/Pages/default.aspx

    Lifejackets a MUST law for minors please dear people, DO cry out!!- my son of a sailor heart is breaking knowing help was so near and so unaware.

    12 miles away at the banks…

    • Anonymous says:

      Good point… The ENTIRE country knew minute by minute what was going on at the Miss Cayman pageant, and the winner was tweeted to 20,000 phones within seconds, but we can’t figure out a Whats App emergency SEA RESCUE GROUP??? Social media and fast response – why not??

      I’d like to hear how many of the big boats hanging out at GTYC or Rum Point on Sunday at 6PM would have gladly gone to sea before sunset to search for children lost at sea, but the public hearing about this Monday afternoon was too late (and police went out at 8:30AM? after morning tea?)

      If the fishermen at 12 mile Banks knew a boat did not come home by 8PM with children would have turned around and gone BACK!?!

      Where was the float plan and common sense?

      West Marineʼs Safe Boating Checklist
      Download this Safe Boating Checklist .pdf File


      Float Plan
      Download this USCG Float Plan.pdf File

      1. Check weather report and tides/currents

      2. File a float plan with someone you know. Tell them where youʼre going and when you intend to return (and what to do if you don’t).

      3. Identify non-swimmers

      Supply them with fitted life jackets while on the water
      4. Identify second-in-command in case of skipperʼs incapacitation

      5. Identify the location and the operation of the following Coast Guard required safety items if fitted

      Life jackets – should be readily accessible
      Lifesling or throwable flotation – should be immediately accessible.
      Horn or sound-producing device as required
      Fire extinguishers and a brief description of their operation (P.A.S.S.)
      Flares or other Visual Distress Signals
      Check operation of Navigation Lights
      6. Identify incremental recommended gear if fitted

      VHF Radio; turn on and select Channel 16. Ensure that one other person knows how to transmit a Mayday.
      Ensure that one anchor and rode is ready for immediate use
      Turn on GPS
      A length of nylon line for a towline, perhaps 75′ x 1/2″

    • Anonymous says:

      The RNLI lifeboat are unsinkable and can self right the boat when flip over….that why they can go out all weather even in hurricane. Meanwhile police boat in cayman can’t do it.

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