RCIPS rescues Honduran fishermen 30 miles off Cayman coast

| 20/09/2016 | 12 Comments

(CNS): The RCIPS helicopter and vessels from the Joint Marine Unit rescued four Honduran fishermen on Monday evening after the 911 communications centre received an SOS notice via the International Emergency Response Coordination Center from their boat, located off the southwest coast of Grand Cayman. The SOS signal came from a locator beacon on the boat but no other communication or contact had been made before the RCIPS units set out to find it based on the beacon coordinates.

Just over an hour after the signal was picked up, the crew in the police chopper spotted the stranded vessel some 30 miles offshore and the red flag being waved by the crew, allowing the Niven D to save them.

The four Honduran men aboard were in good health and were brought to Grand Cayman. In a release about the rescue, police stated that the 40’ white fishing boat had left Honduras on Saturday, 17 September, but had suffered engine failure. The men had no functioning communication tools after the batteries on their VHF radio drained and their satellite phone card had expired. Had it not been for the locator beacon, which had activated an electronic SOS signal, they would have been in dire circumstances.

“Fortunately the owner of this vessel had the foresight to install an added safety measure, in this case, an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), or this incident could have ended very differently,” said Inspector Leo Anglin, Commander of the Joint Marine Unit. “It would have been very difficult to pinpoint where the vessel was located without any kind of information about their route or when they encountered difficulties. Their failure to arrive also may not have been noted for some period of time.”

He urged all boat owners to maintain as many communication capabilities on their vessels as possible, including satellite phones and a VHF radio, as well as the Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), which as a separate power source and is a failsafe when other communication devices fail.

Anglin said, “Boat owners travelling long distances in particular should strongly consider this safety measure.”

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Category: Local News

Comments (12)

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  1. Annie says:

    Just glad the fishermen are okay. Good job JMU, I am sure that their families thank you as well.

  2. Caymansunshine@hotmail.com says:

    Wait……I thought Alden said these guys are not fishing in our waters?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well, I am sure the guy I saw this morning launching a tiny boat that looked somewhat like a leaky bath tub painted yellow from the South Sound boat ramp doesn’t have such emergency equipment in place. Sad thing is that others then have to go and risk their lives to save those who are just too ignorant or arrogant to put safety measures into place.

    • Anonymous says:

      And when the arrogant and irresponsible don’t do anything to help themselves with basic safety items, apparently it is the RCIPS’s fault anyway when it goes wrong.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry the rcip will soon go back to its old self, the experts have arrived!

  5. Anonymous says:

    An EPIRB is indispensable safety kit for those that want to be found. They are not expensive anymore.

  6. Bluff Patrol says:

    Great work, RCIPS. I’ve noticed a string of improvements since the service has been “under new management”.

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