Boat sinks but lives saved

| 27/07/2009

(CNS): Cayman’s marine unit rescued four local residents this afternoon after a boat sunk off the coast of South Sound. Police said that the 911 Emergency Communications Centre received a call at around 1:15pm reporting that a vessel was in distress off South Sound outside the reef. The boat was in heavy surf at that time but was still afloat. Three Marine Unit officers, two police officers and one customs officer were deployed and they launched the Marine Vessel ‘Tornado’ from the South Sound dock at around 1:30pm.

Upon reaching the location, the distressed vessel, an 18-foot Wellcraft fishing boat had sunk leaving a man, his son, nephew and niece struggling in the water. The four were rescued by the Maine Unit crew and brought to shore in a poor condition suffering from exhaustion and water ingestion. They were met by an ambulance crew and were taken to hospital for treatment. Officers have been told that all four should make a full recovery and they are expected to be discharged from the hospital tonight or tomorrow morning.

Head of the Unit, Chief Inspector Courtney Myles commended his officers for their actions, and effectively saving the lives of the four people who had been aboard the vessel. “The officers performed exceptionally well today,” he said. “I have little doubt that they saved these people’s lives.”

Residents are reminded that, when venturing onto the water, they should always check weather reports beforehand and ensure that their radio equipment is fully operational.Boats should also always carry the necessary safety equipment for each person on board, such as life vests.  

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  1. Anonymous says:

    To those who don’t know,
    1)The new vessels were acquired for multiple roles which include
    drug interdiction and search and rescue.
    2) The acquisition of these new vessels startedin 2006, with 1.5 years
    conducting trials, research and obtaining recommendations from current
    and past RCIP Marine officers, the Royal Navy, US Coast Guard and the
    Chief Marine Architect and Chief Surveyor of the MACI.
    It then took the rest of the time to go through the tendering, lawyers
    and finally the construction. During this time there were many inspections
    by qualified persons and agencies from here in the Cayman Islands
    and overseas.
    In fact there are sister vessels that have now been constructed and bought
    by other countries, including the USA and the UK gov’s, because the
    designs were so well thought out.

    As is stands now (and for the past 9 years) there is only 1 qualified
    Engineer in the Marine Unit to maintain all the assets, including seized
    the assets. He has to work under the most extreme conditions eg
    : no Covered work area, no proper tools, no proper storage for spares.
    His tools are kept in his personal vehicle which he users for work.
    Now add the fact that he still has to conduct Police Duties, as this was
    what he was hired for, and does not receive ANY form of compensation
    what’s so ever.

    If you want to know the TRUTH AND FACTS of the RCIP Marine Unit and
    their vessels then feel free to contact him,he’s been there since 1994.
    In fact he was the one who did the majority of the work on the new
    vessels, working extremely long hours everyday, while everyone else got
    the credit as usual.

    So please ask questions from the proper people,
    Otherwise keep to what YOU KNOW and not what you THINK you know.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think the Captain should be arrested and charged with reckless and negligence for endangering the lives of those people since the marine unit has set this precident and this boat SANK!!! This is a much worse scenario than the boat captain who actually got charged in yesterday’s news. If the boat captain in SS is not charged then it is not right that the other boat captain got charged.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Is it really true that the RCIP Marine Unit reefed their brand new boat during training?? Also misfired a gun onboard and shot  a hole in the hull?………brilliant job guys! you deserve a metal.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I hope that the captain of that vessel was arrested for reckless and negligent acts and being in sea conditions too rough as that nethier the vessle nor their level of experience as a captain were capable of performing their own rescue.

  5. Anonymous says:

    In yesterday’s news, a captain of a boat was found negligent and fined in the case where a crew member fell out of the boat.  If the "captain" of the boat which sank in South Sounda few days ago did not have the proper live saving equipment like live vests, then I do not see it any different than the other case where the captain was found negligent as mentioned before. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Prevention vs Cure

      Maybe the Government should require all these boats to be licensed and equipped with proper emergency equipment. This would allow the Police to stop boats for the purpose of ensuring they are licensed and properly equipped. if not, then fine them.

  6. Anonymous says:

    When will the police learn that the excuse to drive dangerously to save a life is not justifiable since more lives are put at risk.

    Very recently, I stopped to let an oncoming police car through, and was amazed to see close up that he was laughing and joking with is partner with ONE hand on the wheel while weaving through traffic.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I find it amazing that pretty much every single story on here seems to disintegrate into an argument over PPM vs UDP.  This really devalues the Comments section of CNS and I honestly wish that I didnt have to see it when I read the stories (other news websites make it optional to view comments).

    So far as this story goes, if it can be proven that the people involved were negligent, then maybe they should be billed for the cost of the rescue operation?  This is what typically happens in other countries these days.  The police comments and the mention of heavy surf seem to suggest that conditions were unsuitable to be outside the reef in this kind of craft.  Why should public funds be used to fix someone’s recklessness?

  8. Anonymous says:

     Lives would have been lost if they got there 5-10 minutes later two of the persons in the water were too weak to pull themselves into the vessel as there was 8 to 10 foot swells pushing them towards the reef and one of the victims were trying to keep his female family member from going under the water.

    As to the emergency vehicles driving recklessly motorist need to give way emergency vehicles turn your music down so you can hear them coming and as to the comment driving thru residential areas, with the volume of traffic and in adequate  size of Cayman’s  roads emergency vehicles have to cut thru these areas sometimes in order to save lives.

    In regards to keeping the vessels in the water these vessels need to be safe and secure as well as require shore power  and other special equipment which will all be covered by the first phase of the new Marine base unfortunately this will put all of the vessels in one general area, I’m sure the Officers and other citizens would love to have docks for these vessel at four keys areas around Grand Cayman and the sister Islands god’s willing sometime in the future will be able to do this when government gets over these hard financial times.   

    • Anonymous says:

      Lives would have been lost

      I think I understand that these are specifically built vessels and are not well suited to SAR missions but rather counter narcotic missions and I think that was probably the reason they were purchased. I think it is very possible to have some of the smaller vessels located in key positions island wide for this type of event (on trailers).  Just a thought if we are trying to save lifes and money we could do both lets leave those big boats for the mission against drugs and use smaller boats located in strategic positions.  After all, I am sure that we could accomodate a 23 " boat with single engine in strategic positions by erecting a six foot fence around the parameter for storage purpose.   

  9. Anonymous says:

    We must thank God no lives were lost, but we do not know if they would have drowned for sure if the police boat was not there.

    I agree with the poster about having the boats in the water ready to go.  I saw this boat being towed with lights and sirens on driving recklessly through residential areas.  We also have to thank God no accident occurred while the police drive badly.

    We have already lost an ambulance (overturned while on the way to a scene) and an airport fire truck that the driver also managed to overturn.

    The emergency services while being credited with the possible saving of lives are not immune to be being accountable and efficient.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why is it that so much posters have all the solutions for an effective Police Force but will not join. Please let the Police get on with their job and stop criticizing their every move.$$4

  10. Pale Rider says:

     "I don’t want to question the Police decisions…."


    Why Not??   This is exactly why the heads of the RCIP have gotten this attitude that they do not have to answer to the public…You have a right, nay a DUTY to questions things which do not seem right…The police should have the mindset of having to defend themselves and their decisions to the public when they make them..One should never shy away from quesioning the powers that be simply because they are the powers that be……Blind Faith in anyone or anything will get you misled at the least…killed at the worst….

  11. Anonymous says:

    1.5 BILLION is very different from 1.5 MILLION. Please make sure you have your facts straight before posting comments. It had better be lined with gold and diamonds if it cost 1.5billion to outfit.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Congrats RCIP. Well done!

  13. anoin says:

    Is it true that the galley on the Tornado cost 1.5 million to outfit?

  14. Pale Rider says:

    I guess it was lucky for the people on the sinking vessel that for once, the all the police boats were not undergoing "routine maintainence" for unexpectedly colliding with submerged objects….



  15. Anonymous says:

    Is difficult to spend $1.5 Billion dollars and not do something right.

    Congrats PPM on while wasting the $1.4 Billion, giving the RCIP the $56M they asked for – luckily you weren’t misled about the boats (they actually arrived and appear to be working).

  16. anonymous says:

    lets go at it boys, saving lives; there sure cannot be a greater feat. the next feat is to catch one of those canoes with drugs/guns that i know kurt got una chasing after.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Help pay $74M deficit.

    I sure hope they charge the persons saved the cost of the operation along with the ambulance ride.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Here again is a great example of where the PPM Government spent some of the money. The "Tornado" is one of the 4 additional police marine vessels purchased by the PPM Govt for the RCIP in order to create the promised Coast Guard for the Cayman Islands !

    • Anonymous says:

      Why does everything have to be political, how did politics get into this??? The basic and most important point here, and that the people are safe, and all the rescuers did a job well done.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t want to question the Police decisions but I think that the people could have been rescued quicker if the Tornado was not being kept at the airport and had to be towed and lauched from the South Sound dock..Albeit the response time was not all that bad however, having boats already in the water and on patrol would have been nice..I also think that smaller vessels could have done the job and that similar to police cars smaller police boats should be responsible for specific areas while the larger faster open sea vessels in combination with air assets should be used to detect and deter smugglers.  I am just questioning the allocation of assets but overall I am glad that in the end lives where saved and by saving at least one life the money was well spent on the Tornado and other marine assets.  I hope that the use of the Tornado was because it was the closest and not because