Boat in trouble rescued by private vessel

| 21/03/2018 | 55 Comments

(CNS): Police are urging mariners to ensure they have life jackets and other safety equipment before they go out on the water, after a member of the public rescued three men on board a small aluminium boat in trouble in South Sound last night. The men reported that the boat’s engine had failed at around 8:45pm Tuesday evening, but there were no marine officers on the water at the time. The RCIPS Joint Marine Unit and off-duty officers were called to work and the port also issued a call over VHF radio to other mariners about the 10ft vessel in need of help.

Police said that marine officers were en route to the Marine Base to launch a vessel by 9:05pm and officers called the men in the boat to let them know that efforts to get a JMU boat on the water were underway and that civilian boats had also been called to assist. At that point they learned that a man on the boat had stepped on a hook and injured his foot. The men also said they had lights on the vessel but no life jackets and that the waves were picking up.

By 9:30pm the marine officers had taken the boat to South Sound to be launched, but when they spoke by mobile phone with the men who were in trouble they learned that the small boat was being towed to shore and the men were no longer in need of police assistance. Once ashore, the police confirmed they were safe and the man with an injury to his foot was taken to the hospital by private vehicle.

“We appreciate the assistance that was rendered to this vessel in distress by a member of the public,” said Acting Superintendent Brad Ebanks, Head of Specialist Operations. “Enlisting the aid of other mariners is a regular practice, as marine officers are not on duty 24 hours a day. We respond to emergency situations, but response at times when marine vessels are not already on the water will take longer.  Therefore it is appreciated when other mariners respond and assist; additionally, boaters should always have life jackets, lights and communications devices, both radio and telephone, and thoroughly check weather reports before heading out to sea,” he advised.

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Comments (55)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Lesson learn; don’t untie your boat from the buoy unless your engine is turned on. It’s that simple.

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  2. Shannon Richards says:

    I have been rescued by the Marine Police Unit from South Sound.

    And I owe them my life.

    I was trolling in calm waters in an 18ft boat for Wahoo (like oily calm) on sunset off of Caribbean Paradise. It was calm because there was a cold front coming in later that night. No problem, I will be on the couch by then.

    Or so the forescast had said.

    I had a main engine and a spare engine. All the safety gear. Could here the Port Authority over VHF.

    The main engine stopped without warning. No problem, I had a spare.

    I could see dark clouds and rain up by SMB but didn’t worry about it and worked to get my main engine going (I am reasonably capable of working on the engine).

    Before I knew it… the rain hit.
    Before I knew it…. I could not see 30ft due to the heavy downpour.
    There wasn’t a breath of wind.
    But I was the hero, got my main engine running, not well but going at least.

    And that’s when all hell broke loose.

    Behind that rain and unseen came a burst of wind that must have been at least 40-50 mph. The once calm ocean that minutes ago was a pond turned into 6 Foot seas, and I’m not exaggerating – it was minutes.

    I started spluttering to shore on the main engine. But I could feel it dying. And the seas were getting bigger still.

    Then it stopped. Wouldn’t start.

    Plan B – time for the Kicker (spare engine). It was all I could do to stand at the back of the boat and pull on the cord for the kicker. That kicker ALWAYS starts first pull, reliable as hell.

    Would not start.

    Oh Sh!t.

    I’m now a drift, the wind is hammering into the current and for the first time in 30 odd years of being in boats I know I am in serious trouble. The seas are easily 6 feet and I’m being blown into the current which is only making the conditions even nastier. The rain bloody hurts!

    I put on a life Jacket and tied myself to a rail on the boat. How it hadn’t rolled over I don’t know.

    It’s now dark.

    I called the Port Authority on the VHF.

    Silence.

    I had heard them earlier. It turns out I was not transmitting out.

    Dial 911. My hand are so soaked that I can’t dial on the touch screen. Tear up my engine maintenance manual inside the console as it’s the only thing that’s dry.

    It’s ringing!!!!!!!

    I speak to them and they tell me the Marine Police will call me. I told her I may not be IN the boat for much longer.

    They called me. Still in the boat. The voice on the other side is reassuring and I can tell he knew what he was about. The panic that was building backed off a little.

    He says they need to go get the boat from Hurst Rd and launch from the South Sound Dock. I gave him my GPS position and the direction I was being blown and then waited them out.

    Called the wife and told her I loved her. That’s when she realized I was in serious trouble lol!

    Thankfully the wind backed off after the initial blast and the boat was able to manage it.

    The came out and towed me home… boy was I so happy to see them!!! They were professional and knew what they were about.

    It turned out I had water in my fuel that killed the main engine. I didn’t know the danger and unbeknown to me I transferred the fuel line over to the Kicker and the water killed that too.

    Lesson learned – use a separate fuel source for the spare.

    If it wasn’t for the Marine Police I probably wouldn’t be here. Sh$t happens out there and it can happen in a blink and to anyone.

    We are lucky to have them and I can’t be greatful enough to them, they saved my life.

    Shannon

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    • Anonymous says:

      Qualified

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    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for sharing your story – and I’m glad everything turned out okay.

      Also sure our rescue service teams are happy to see a positive review of their skills and efforts.

      Lastly, you may want to consider becoming an action writer – I was captivated.

      🙂

      – Who

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    • Swordfish says:

      Yes what and epic story too bad the Cubans who were just a short distance down on the same Southwest point did not get the same level of assistance you got. What a real pity they didn’t have a sea worthy vessel like you or were in a calm area that is always calm during a Norwester ie Cold Front in case you didn’t know the Cayman term. Yes lucky indeed that you weren’t a local fisherman who would be lambasted on here for not having this or that and safety equipment who should not be even be on the water if it was left to some. The fact is your story ended well the others did not and two little boys drowned or were eaten by sharks because they were so professional and knew what they were about according you. The really sad part is it was under the very same circumstances and weather conditions but off Northwest Point. Another known fact the former marine unit with very little equipment or personnel never had to blow their own horn or have others praise them because of such issues or have UK Coast Guard reviews about Search and Rescue responses or operational failures. Their capabilities and expertise are sadly missed as is their professional leadership in all marine matters.

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    • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

      Great to read a POSITIVE post re our Marine Unit, and you have a very positive attitude to your experience. All I can add to your lesson is, when you launch for your fishing trip make sure your radio is transmitting as well as receiving by calling Port Security with your float plan. You did well nevertheless!

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  3. Anonymous says:

    These clowns should stick to a chair on the beach.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    This is a hella different that the crazed callers to Woody Trumps paid campaign radio whinefest made it sound. They was out to roast expats again, this time for endangering their darling babies. Could we jus boycott advertisers to that show?

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    • Anonymous says:

      What the huh? I tried reading super slowly and still not able to quite get the gist of your post 22/03/2018 at 7:44 pm
      Signed,
      Punctuation and isms

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  5. Anonymous says:

    I was made aware of this by social media and put the word out with as many people as i could everyone i knew also shared it. Ended up being 2 of my friends offering assistance. Social media doing good things.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Something tells me these three twits should remain on land in future.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    But what was actually wrong with the boat to put them in distress in the first place? (And where was it really? ‘waves were picking up’ inside South Sound?)

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    • Anonymous says:

      Their engine died. But the boat wasn’t taking on water, so it is not exactly the emergency they were making it out to be. Talk about a lot of overblown crap.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Reckless boaters did not have safety equipment and now want to blame the emergency services for their bad judgement and bad luck.

    Still, the question remains, how can no marine or fire rescue officers be on duty. There should be 24/7 coverage.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Bottom line is that 24/7 coverage means WAY more people in the marine unit than there are presently. Getting CIG to fund it beyond skeletal staff levels has never happened. Immigration and customs were supposed to put way more staff it than they EVER have. This island wants 24/7 coverage to rescue idiots who go out without life jackets, but trust me you don’t want to pay for it.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    We have to pick since out of nonsense.

  10. Anonymous says:

    It’s a mistake to count on the Police…for anything. Plan accordingly.

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  11. West bay Premier says:

    Why can’t people learn that it’s a lot more to just buying a boat and thinking that’s all you need . In boating there are many things that are involved in safe boating that you must learn and know before going out on the boat . Just remember that the ocean has no respect for no body . So you must be prepared / knowledgeable when you go out on that boat . If not you are asking for trouble .
    I happy to know that they are all safe . And that they are not hooked on boating .

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  12. Rescue D-22 says:

    This shit should not be happening ?What happen to this big glorious review by the UK Coast Guard did they not read the memo? I like the part of about Specialist Operations mann talk about inflatable egos Whooopee dooo! They can’t even muster a minor rescue in the South Sound channel of a 12 foot aluminum boat in calm conditions at 8pm. Wow! My question is why werent JMU marine officers not on duty.The past officers Marine DTF units work 24 hour shifts oh sorry specialist now only work when operations are called i assume?

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    • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

      You just do not get it do you? There are not enough officers in the Marine Unit to be on the water 24 x 7. Take a look at that response time to get a boat and crew to South Sound Dock. It was excellent. but not good enough for you. This type of situation is exacerbated by the frequent failure of boaters to have life jackets, emergency flares, emergency oars, etc. This makes the Marine Unit job even harder, because when your boat sinks and you have no life jackets to float you, how long will you last in the water before the Marine Unit can get to you? Cayman boaters just will not do the responsible thing and carry basic safety gear onboard. That was the way 100 years ago, and we are not doing much better today. And I know that my post will get loads of negative feedback. Whats new when you speak the truth?

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      • Wipeout Sea Centipede says:

        Yes god forbid we should call upon this overpaid police farce who have everything under sun and still crying for more to the tune over 500 million budget and counting to turn out at 8pm at night to do what they are paid to do. The trouble with ignorance as it goes along it picks up confidence you Shhh need to do exactly what you name says. “Sit down be humble “

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        • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

          “Wipeout Sea Centipede” I dismiss you NEGATIVE post as just more of the same old same old. If you want 24 x 7 Marine Unit safety presence then you will need to pay for it as a taxpayer. Throw your stones at those who make the decisions re. the Marine Unit manpower, and not at the hard working few who jump out of bed in the middle of the night to rescue boaters who have little or no safety consciousness, or bloody common sense!!

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          • Anonymous says:

            As tax payers we already do pay for it. It’s not our fault that the government wants to spend it all on cruise piers and not on the things WE need.

    • Anonymous says:

      Now c’mon. It’s a well established fact that CIG love to spend substantial amounts of public money on various consultants only to do nothing when they get the reports.

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  13. Force Majure says:

    All these millions in equipment and specialist operations command oh pleeease !!! How many people need to get killed or injured for this foolishness to stop. When Cubans drowned they said it was too rough surfers did their rescue for them. The five missing presumed dead boaters we will never know what happen due to them not even showing up it was another pile of excuses. Yet they had big UK Search and Rescue review to deflect the blame. If it was a ganja boat you wouldn’t here a peeep out of the JMU glory hunters and headline experts.The truth of the matter is Search and rescue is and has never been a priority for them and they are not capable of doing a proper one . Ask the Specialist Operator Brad when last he has done a Man Over Board Drill. Finally the existing vessel operators has some of the very laziest individuals behind the wheel who will not turn out unless galmour and headlines are involved. Its a far cry from the past where Drugs task force marine units turn out 24-7 in hurricane conditions day or night to rescue sick or injured personal miles offshore and in the sister islands and off of any type of ship or vessel. But that of course is when they didnt have all these shallow water captains running things and the grand the in the sky bird. Yes and specialist operators actually ran their own shifts without fancy titles. Your first priority as a law enforcement officer is to save lives.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Classic case of irresponsible boaters blaming everyone for their incompetence. Since when do you call an ambulance for a fish hook in your foot!! Isn’t the hook suppose to be in the fish ?

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    • "Anonymousir" says:

      crap can happen buddy … wonder if it happens to you .. what would you say … would you class yourself as an idiot?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Well, for one thing, if it happened to the poster, he may have had a life jacket. Point is, people mess up and then cry like wet babies when they don’t get coddled. That is all.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    The conditions this time were calm but were the conditions rough this story may have had a different ending. The system for vessel assistance is broken clearly and needs to be fixed.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    happened to.me on saturday during day as well in s sound area, my 15 hp went kaput!….although, i have a 2.5 hp new engine for spare and needed no assistance! ? actually i continued fishing and have fresh fish to eat all week!☺?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Try so stay out the marine park!

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    • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

      Fantastic 7.47am you are a shining example of good plain common sense, AND, you are not throwing the usual stones at the Marine Unit. Many years ago, I was fishing 12 mile bank in my 26 ft boat, and on the way back, my power pack failed on the main engine. I fired up my little 15 HP kicker engine on it’s bracket, and headed straight back to Lobster Pot, catching two nice dolphin in the process! That’s common sense, safe boating! Oh, and we had life jackets for all, plus a good flare kit, and VHF marine radio!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Glad we didn’t have to listen to your momma crying on the radio about the big bad expat fireman.

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      • Edsel Cousin says:

        Your marine terminology says it all Shhhh you police mouth piece and all. What you cant do is erase document record of failures, what you keep doing trying to do is disrespect the memories of all those who lost their lives at sea. Yes ya punk!

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        • Anonymous says:

          Sadly, Edsel and crew didn’t stand a chance. ? From all reports, they left in an unreliable boat in less than ideal weather. The tragedy was preventable if they’d had emergency equipment. I do wish there had been a different outcome for them. The thought of those little boys in that situation is heartbreaking.

        • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

          Which of us is a punk? I post POSITIVE stuff, you are a typical CNS stone thrower finding fault in everything, and never ever positive. Some things will never change on CNS. I am not a “police mouthpiece” as you put it, but simply do not get a hard on criticizing public servants. Try to find something positive to contribute, it may do you good mentally.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile theyre helping in south sound guns coming in at north sound ?

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  18. Caymanian True Capt says:

    Question, did this boat have all the safety equipment on board as required by law, on a small boat like this did they even have oars? I bet not.
    I saw the report on the local TV from the owner of the boat (I do have laugh, they called him a captain), he stated that his friend came from Prospect and had to put his waver runner on a trailer, BS, the wave runner was already on the trailer,the RCIPS base is at savannah 10 minutes further away, the RCIPS boats are usually in the water, so therefore would have to put the boat on a trailer and drive down to the launching ramp (yes maybe they should have a boat on standby on a trailer in cases like this), the RCIPS marine unit is also a little understaffed and always has been but not all the blame can go on them for thus rescue.
    Ot is very common that when a vessel is in distress, the Port Authority will do an APB to all marine vessels in the area to assist.
    Lastly, 830pm this small boat is out, as stated above most likely with out any form of safety equipment.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Only during regular Port Authority hours. After hours, even on Channel 16, you better cross your fingers, or better yet, frantically yell and wave a bright lifejacket at any passing vessels (doesn’t sound like that was an option in this case).

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  19. Anonymous says:

    #qualified

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  20. Anonymous says:

    How does this compare to the story given by the relative on the radio this morning?According to that caller, police totally ignored the boaters distress. Is there any truth to that or is that just a typically talk show caller over-exaggerating and speaking from the heart instead of reasonably or factually??

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