Two Cubans missing, eight rescued at sea

| 01/10/2023 | 6 Comments
  • Rescue of Cuban migrants, Cayman News Service
  • Rescue of Cuban migrants, Cayman News Service
  • Rescue of Cuban migrants, Cayman News Service
  • Rescue of Cuban migrants, Cayman News Service
  • Rescue of Cuban migrants, Cayman News Service

(CNS): A major search and rescue operation involving the police, coastguard, fire service, border control and private boat owners in the sea around Cayman Brac was conducted Saturday and Sunday, in which eight Cuban men were rescued. However, two more are missing. According to Customs and Border Control (CBC), the operation began after one man swam ashore at Stake Bay around 7:00am on Saturday, 30 September and reported that he and nine others had been on board a boat that was wrecked.

He feared that the rest had perished during the swim to the island. However, at noon on Saturday, a second man was rescued by a private vessel and taken to Faith Hospital for medical treatment. The joint operation continued, and an hour and 15 minutes later, three more men were rescued by a private vessel off Cayman Brac, with one of the three found nearer to Point of Sand on Little Cayman.

Then, at around 3:30pm, the police helicopter crew spotted two men in the water some nine miles north of Cayman Brac. The migrants were rescued by the Cayman Islands Fire Service (CIFS), CBC and the Cayman Islands Coast Guard (CICG) officers on board the Fire Rescue vessel. They were transported to shore, where they were assessed by EMS officers and taken to the Brac hospital.

At about 5:15 pm, the eighth survivor, who appears to have made it to shore alone, was spotted walking in Stake Bay, bringing the total number of survivors to eight.

The RCIPS Air Support Unit, CICG officers and members of the public supported CBC and CIFS with the search and rescue operation until after dark. It resumed at around 5am with first light on Sunday. The rescued men have all been treated at Faith Hospital and are being processed by CBC officers.

“Many members of the Cayman Brac public also engaged in the search and rescue effort, and we are eternally grateful for their help,” CBC Director Charles Clifford said. “We will no doubt have an opportunity in the future to highlight and properly recognise their invaluable assistance.”

Senior officials involved from the various agencies extended their “heartfelt gratitude to the courageous members of the public who have selflessly volunteered their boats to aid in this rescue operation. Your efforts have truly made a difference, and we appreciate your unwavering support.”

Evol Miller and Leanna Jackson were given special thanks for conducting a jet ski rescue of three of the survivors.

Anyone with information that could assist in locating the remaining two individuals is asked to call 911 or reach out to any of the relevant authorities as soon as possible.

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Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    That’s not correct 11:17am modern radar can pick up swimmers in the water and its no longer cost prohibitive with accompanying thermal cameras and launch to target small drones which can detecting heat signatures quite a long distance away from shore even in bad weather. Advance alerts saves time and cost and manpower and lives and is a deterrent to contraband smugglers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thermal imaging can pick up a swimmer in the water, but radar cannot even pick up small craft on the water, let alone swimmers.

      I don’t know what the answer is, however I believe we should be assisting these folks as much as the law will allow, and sending them along their way, outfitting with goods and our prayers. There, but for the grace of God goes any of us.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please stop spreading mis-information, Most radar Does not pick up swimmers. Radar waves reflect off of hard surfaces and do not even give particularly good returns off of fiberglass or wooden hulls (hence why Radar Reflectors for small craft exists). On a Flat calm day a human size target may possible get picked up as a light return on some doppler based system, standard marine radar will not give a noticeable return on a swimmer or even person sized target.

      • Anonymous says:

        The drug boats have a big old engine that radar can see just fine. This is what we need radar for.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Most land based radar isn’t going to pick up a tiny, non metallic boat that certainly doesn’t have a radar reflector. Pick up these kind of boats you would either need some really high grade military surveillance radars, or better still airborne assets with night vision. Cost of either would be prohibitive for Cayman, and Cayman has previously turned down suggestions to allow the USCG station assets here for drug and people interdiction.

  3. Brac Resident says:

    Horrific and very sad outcome for these guys but a proper radar system in place on the Brac Could have change the circumstances and deadly outcome here. Information I have garnered is that it’s our own corrupt and criminal politicians that have refuse to implement or put this necessary tool in place for obvious reasons. Cayman our borders need securing to avoid these unnecessary tragedies!


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