Boozed-up boater triggers search operation

| 17/05/2016 | 58 Comments
Cayman News Service

RCIPS Joint Marine Unit (Photo by Kenneth Wright)

(CNS): The RCIPS is urging people to be more careful on the water after the drunken antics of a 25-year-old man on a boat trip triggered a full scale rescue operation yesterday evening. Described as “highly intoxicated”, the man had jumped into the water several times from a boat traveling in the vicinity of Rum Point Channel. After the fifth jump, he did not return to the boat and could not be found. Following a 911 call, the police vessel Tornado responded from the Marine Base, and 911 also informed the Port Authority of the situation, which alerted other boats in the area of a man in the water. 

Within an hour the Department of Environment as well as the Cayman Islands Fire Service had also responded, and additional off-duty staff within the Marine Unit had also been mobilised, police said.

Just before 10pm the missing man made contact with the emergency services via VHF radio, telling them that he had swum to another boat anchored offshore. Marine officers on board the Tornado headed to the boat and confirmed that he was on board and unharmed.

Chief Inspector Brad Ebanks, Head of Specialist Operations Units, expressed his concern about the incident.

“What we need the public to realise is that each emergency or search-and-rescue response, whether the incident turns out to be critical or not, requires a mobilisation of personnel and expenditure of limited police and emergency resources,” he said. “The irresponsible behavior that prompted the response near Rum Point on Monday is something we see far too regularly.”

Ebanks added, “It demonstrates the complete lack of consideration, not only for one’s personal safety, but also for how personal actions affect the provision of emergency services to the community. There are simply not enough resources to address the self-created problems on the water at the same time as the genuine emergencies that are bound to happen. The sea can be very unforgiving, and people need to be more responsible for their own safety when out at sea.”

In addition to this incident, police marine and helicopter crews responded on Monday to a report of a paddle boarder in distress some distance from shore and a vessel with four adults and two children on board that had broken down near Starfish Point.

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Comments (58)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Whether he jumped or whether he had had a few drinks he was still missing and needed to be found. It is really sad to read all the negative comments.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think we all need to appreciate the police authorities for the effort they put into calls like these but I also think they need to realize the fear people are feeling in that moment and why they want them to move faster or do more than just follow procedure way off of where this family described the man had fallen. It’s scary for everyone. At the end of the day everyone just wants or should want that life to be saved.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Like another comment earlier: WHAT ABOUT THE WEEKLY Hospital emergencies?! Do you hear the hospital complaining or nurses and doctors about the procedures or time being wasted to care for unnecessary acts that unfortunately took place?! Nooooo because ITS THEIR JOB, along with that it is someone’s LIFE! Are we all not seeing the bigger picture here? A life was on the line, no matter how it happened it happened and they needed police assistance!! I hope something like this neverrrrrr happens to all of you negative commenters because when it does I wonder what kind of mercy God will show you. Have some consideration! And shame on police for not realesing all the rightful information to the public. Instead they dimmed the truth of that night.

  4. Anonymous says:

    instead of urging people to be safer on the water why not urge people to stop shotting and stop stabbing your buddies. seems more proactive to me….

  5. Anonymous says:

    i think its pretty ridiculous and some of the comments on here are a little bit harsh. we talk about drinking and boating etc etc but every weekend theres a stabbing at a nightclub, guns drawn and fired and cars/bikes/trucks end up in ditches but yet some guy has a few too many, falls overboard and Cayman makes out it ruined everyone’s life..come on guys, we have all done something stupid but all the violent and malicious acts that are carried out while under the influence and its generally considered as “the norm”. the ER is crazy with drunks who have inured them selves. does anyone complain that the nurses and doctors are using their valuable time to treat these people for something that could have been avoided. No they dont, they just do it!!!! Next story please….lets move on….

  6. Anonymous says:

    Heartbreaking how cruel and negative some people can be. You were not out there to feel how scary the situation was. Hope you never make any mistakes in your life and if you do I hope that ppl will be more compassionate.

  7. Anonymous says:

    To all the the people that have made negative comments. Shame on you because this was a life out there in the middle of the north sound.. I’m glad that he was found safe!

  8. Anonymous says:

    It was dark out there and after 3 hours the police still hadn’t found him even with their bright spot light. He rescued himself.

  9. Anonymous says:

    ….and what if the drunken idiot died? What would the comments be on here?

    Don’t act like NONE of you have never gotten drunk and did something “stupid”….that actually risked your own or someone else’s life.

    Bet 85% of writers on here have driven under the influence; whether by alcohol, marijuana or that pure white stuff…don’t come on here acting innocent like you haven’t done anything “stupid” before!

    Make it had been your own child…or someone close to you who did something dumb (wait of course you’ve experienced it cuz we all have)…I really wonder what the comments would be!

    Get a grip ppl, comment on the positive and stop being so negative about things out of your control!!

    Finally the police were more reactive about this situation than they were of the 5 ppl gone missing couple of weeks ago…maybe they are finally learning from their mistakes and taking ALL LIVES serious no matter the circumstance. Don’t complain about resources either, just do their jobs.

  10. Anonymous says:

    With all due respect CI Ebanks but your command of this situation is woefully inadequate, bordering of negligent. I cannot count the times that boaters have committed clearly dangerous or illegal manoeuvres in clear sight of your patrol vessels on their rare visits to RP or Kaibo. Your officers clearly ignore them and the unreasonable noise that is generated by dozens of boats competing to make their particular sound system the loudest and most obnoxious. Not once have I ever witnessed a boat operator, whether commercial or private, questioned or tests conducted on their suitability to navigate safely and soberly.
    Your declaration that this is ‘an all too frequent occurance’ speaks volumes at the lack of control you and your officers have at such gatherings and you need to get a grip on a rising problem.

    How about deterrence patrols as people gather, how about officers getting in the water and patrolling around this floating village of booze and drug taking and how about you getting on with doing your damn job instead of whining about those you should be policing?

    And when you finally wake up to this blight on our island, then team up with your land based opposite number in the traffic department and sought out the motorcycle and car racing along RP Drive on a Sunday and holiday Monday’s.

    Does someone really have to die before you all wake up to the madness that is destroying our communities?

  11. Anonymous says:

    I was on the boat Monday night and would like to clear up a few misleading comments from the police and things that were not said. The boat was in motion when the person fell off the boat causing us to lose direction of where he might be and the wind was strong so that was against us also. It was so dark that night even with our light you couldn’t see a few feet ahead of you. We didn’t want to run over him and we also didn’t know if he was still conscious. Our only alternative was to call the police for help. This was a life out in the middle of the ocean with strong winds and waves. It was said that he jumped of 5 times which is completely untrue. He was also in the ocean floating, treading water and trying to swim to some kind of safety for 3 hours. The police boat came out and searched way far off from where he went missing in the opposite direction of where the tide was going. They said this was the procedure and the helicopter was not sent out because they exhausted their searches for the day due to the assisted search on south sound. He was a strong enough swimmer to make it to the boat Although it took hours thank goodness he made it. Police called when they found him and said they were taking him to the hospital but ended up releasing him into another boat. Boat owners that knew him came out to assist in the search and we really want to thank you so much!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Okay, but he’s still a twat.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hmm. I was also involved and out that night. It was not that dark, there was a partial moon. He had jumped off several times according to the people calling 911. You stop, turn slowly (loss of direction – it’s North Sound for god sake) and then with lookouts retrace back very slowly. Or were you all so drunk. Had some of you been a bit more responsible, and as the police say respect your OWN safety, other people would not have to be turned out from home and their families on a holiday to look for you and your friends. Just saying

      • Anonymous says:

        They probably had the spreader lights on inside the boat thus making them blind to anything outside the boat.

    • Kenny says:

      2:37. Shame on you for blaming the police for what was clearly a case of negligent behaviour . When will you learn that alcohol and the sea don’t mix well.

    • Anonymous says:

      Be careful what you write and remember that all 911 calls are recorded. The information that he jumped 5 times and was highly intoxicated comes from whomever on your boat made that call. It is not made up by the first responders. It would be nice as well if in addition to the boat owners you thank, you also thank the first responders, who are given an absolutely impossible job and rarely thanked for what they do, especially by some people who benefit from their hard work.

    • Anonymous says:

      2.37 you don’t quite have JK Rowlings knack for fantasy writing.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The whole subject of Sunday and public holiday behaviour at Rum Point needs dealing with. Not only are boat owners acting irresponsibly by drinking and driving, they allow their passengers to get up to all sorts of antics in public view. Trash and glass bottles litter the sand and extremely loud music destroys the peace of this normally quiet side of this island.

    Even more worrying though are the land based morons who have decided to get drunk and race cars and motorcycles along Rum Point Drive. They must be stopped before an innocent dies.

    Last Monday 30 to 40 motorcycles and cars raced out of RP at speeds way in excess of the 30 mph speed limits, (easily 50-70 mph) some side by side as bikes did wheelies and drunken idiots stood through the sun roofs of cars, on the back of trucks or hanging out of vehicle windows cheering them on.
    Tourist drivers and walkers were left on the sides of the road in absolute fear of their safety as this parade of madness pushed its way through at breakneck speed.
    I am going to make sure that this is filmed as it isn’t the first time this has happened and post it online for the world to see the anarchy that is taking place here on NS. Perhaps a check of local social media might identify some of the idiots involved.
    We need police help and we need it on every Sunday and public holiday, this is a disaster waiting to happen people, get a grip.

    • Anonymous says:

      I also saw these bikes around Bodden Town, there must have been at least 40 of them and really scared me with their antics.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Just implement a monetary fine in these situations and it will stop the behaviour or recover the costs to the police. Suggest a $2,000 fine to start.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Oh, if you name and shame him, some “poor, struggling attorney” will be all over us for violating his rights to privacy. Unless he gets charged and convicted, we’ll probably never know who the idiot was.

  15. Anonymous says:

    What does Mary Lawrence think about the conduct of the operation given her valuable experience in this field?

  16. Anonymous says:

    see what i dont understand is incidents like this unna people quick to put a negative comment on but when it come to reports like Ronald Forbes doing such a good job for his country no one even puts a good job Mr. Forbes or anything.
    if you people learned to be more positive about things rather than being so negative all the time this little rock would be a better place.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Was he the only person on the boat? Could nobody else on the boat stop him from jumping?? Especially “several times” at night?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Any consequences for this idiot?!?! If not, this is a waste of everyone’s time and nothing will change unless people have to pay for the full rescue operations caused by their idiotic and inept behavior.

  19. Anonymous says:

    charge him with wasting police time

    • Anonymous says:

      And behavior likely to endanger the safety of others, and fine him the fuel cost and people’s time.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The person should be fined heavily to cover the costs. Instances like these hurt all of us.

  21. Anonymous says:

    He should be fined and have to pay for wasting police resources.

  22. Anonymous says:

    How in God’s name did they not see him ? Did he go behind a building? Did he get a ride with a dolphin? What , were they all drunk? Then they should be fined for driving while intoxicated

    • Jotnar says:

      If Stinky was still in the North Sound sure he would have been happy to give him a ride – that would be a far more effective deterrent than a fine.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Name and shame then invoice him for all the responders.

  24. Think of all possibilities says:

    Charge the drunkard for the unneeded expense he caused. He is certainly liable. And if he cannot afford to pay, then it’s time for mandatory public service duty.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Name and shame him!

  26. Neptune says:

    The should be charged and fined. If he was on land wouldn’t he be charged with jay walking or drunken disorley conduct. I also believe he should minimally pay for the costs of the search and rescue. Make an example out of him.

  27. Anonymous says:

    What a total twat!

  28. Anonymous says:

    There are many cures for numerous things in life but unfortunately there’s no cure for stupidity!

  29. Anonymous says:

    Just like operating a vehicle, when an individual is responsible for operating a boat he/she should be held accountable for everyone onboard that boat and the captain should not be allowed to drink. That should also be a part of the law and enforced by marine enforcement offices. Let the penalty be a heavy fine or the confiscation of the boat for an extended period of time. Operating a boat while intoxicated can be as dangerous as driving a vehicle while under the influence as well. Also, tour operators should not be allowed to rent wave runners/jetskis to an individual that is intoxicated. Sitting on the beach and watching the dangerous and careless behaviour of individuals using those water toys is truly scary. Why can’t people just be sensible!

  30. Anonymous says:

    So get out there and enforce the laws.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hear hear! In any other country it would be a show of enforcement and DUI arrests but here we wait for the bad news – The 25-year-old man should be charged with being drunk and disorderly period. Please let us readers know if any charges were brought against him for such irresponsible actions. No charges means it will happen again next holiday Monday
      Enforcement, enforcement, enforcement!!

      Let’s start with a Marine patrol boat inside the channel checking to see if there are adequate lifejackets and safety equipment for any boat going outside the wreath that has minors on board?

      Education? What did the marine officers do during the day? Perhaps they need to teach safety in the schools with assemblies …. The 25-year-old in question had no clue and it’s our own Enforecement , Education, and Marine police to blame and fix the problem.

      • Anonymous says:

        OK. Let’s try it. One police boat at the Rum Point Channel. One at the Main Stingray Channel. One at the East End channel by Morrritts. One at the channel off Gun Bay. One at Frank Sound. And… we are out of boats and police officers and haven’t even gotten around to North West Point or Hog Sty Bay. And the Sister Islands..

        OK. THAT doesn’t work. And it wouldn’t even touch those who create their own trouble in the North Sound… like this drunken idiot.

        Or we could act responsibly without someone looking over our shoulder all the time. Then perhaps there would be enough resources to respond to unexpected emergencies that arise and police won’t be tied up dealing with self-created mayhem.

        OK… THAT probably won’t work either.

        So the police do what they can with what resources they are given to do their jobs. But the police are not to blame for the idiots who go out on the water and cause problems of their own making.

        And what did the Marine Officers do during the day? They were out conducting a search for a paddle boarder in distress. Says it right there in the article.

        • Anonymous says:

          If there aren’t enough police to do the job then why aren’t DOE Enforcement and the Port Authority helping out? After all, the PA are responsible for all maritime regulations locally and most of these infractions take place within Marine Park zones.

          • Philip says:

            I suggest you check out the work contracts for DOE enforcement officers, its beyond a joke, they only have to put in X amount of hours per week, and it does not have to be a 9-5 if you get my drift, 3 days working a 14 hour shift and they are done for the week, no wonder most of them have second jobs/ businesses .

            As for the port guys maybe now we are slower with cruise ship arrivals perhaps they can get out more and start enforcing the rules of the road as well as getting some much needed work done on the various channel markers that are either completely missing or not working, or god forbid our elected officials get together and finally put the police in full power of inforcing maritime law here as opposed to the police always fobbing it off to the Port and visa versa,

            • Anonymous says:

              You are clearly an idiot Philip, I don’t know of any DOE officer who only works three days a week in total. That my nasty little friend is a figment of your imagination.
              The second job issue is a potential problem, but only if it directly interferes with their main duty. One should ask why they need to take second jobs, could it be that the salary is unreasonably poor for the risks they are expected to take. Could it be that they were denied rises and lost pay in real terms during past years financial debacles.

              You sound like a very bitter man, I wonder why?

              However, you are correct if your assertion is that the DOE are woefully undermanned and that their line management appears not to have a grasp of the real world outside of their offices.

              After all, poaching and the destruction of the environment isn’t a 9-5 business and the removal of marine life takes place in water so quality boats are needed, not just a fleet of shining trucks.
              But this isn’t the fault of individual basic officers, (who number 4 or 5 ?) it’s the fault of their supervisors and managers and the CIG who refuse to recruit an appropriate number of officers to do their damn jobs effectively and safely.

              So no Philip I don’t get your drift, I just get the odious wiff of vindictiveness and ignorance.

      • Spell Check says:


        • Cho King Often says:

          What, you never heard of a boat running aground on the … wreath? I guess that means we hang a reef on the door at Christmas time! Oh, now I’m totally confused!!

          They post ignorance here and then they . . . VOTE! Now I see why we get what we have in the LA??

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