Helicopter spots missing crew & fishing boat

| 18/08/2010

(CNS): Update — Following reports yesterday that a search operation was underway for a fishing boat that had not been seen for a week, the boat was located by the police helicopter. The Renegade was found in the Pickle Bank area when crewmembers, Jorge Diaz and Westley Dixon, spotted the RCIPS Air Support Unit and let off a distress flair. The Joint Marine Unit vessel Guardian headed to the location to assist the crew. The boat was safely towed to Cayman Brac by the law enforcement vessel which had officers from the RCIP, Customs, Immigration and medics from the Health Services.

The two men on board the Renegade were in good health spent the night in Cayman Brac.   

The search operation began after the boat and crew had not been spotted for a week after ehading to Pickle Banks around 50 miles north of Little Cayman where the men wer found.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Local News

About the Author ()

Comments (27)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Who pays? says:

    Surely these individuals who went to sea without adequate equipment should pay towards the cost of this operation.  At least the boat should be sold to offset the costs to us.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good job RCIPS and Cayman! I can personally relate of being adrift at sea and believe me, seeing that helicopter would have made me the happiest man alive. This is seafarers country and we have to look out for the boys out there. Great news.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Only here would a minority turn a positive story into an analysis as to whether it was the helicopter, cost, or should be using the mosquito aircraft.  The RCIPS said the ‘air support unit’ found presumably because the helicopter is a lump of metal and carbon fibre, whereas the police crew were the ones that used their equipment and eyes and made the job happen!!  What do these guys have to do – the helicopter is here and working daily – get over it and give the guys a break for a good job – for once.

    Well done RCIPS Air and Marine Units!

  4. Anonymous says:

    A fixed wing could definitely not do the work that the helicopter does, thank goodness we have it here, I dread to think what would have happened to those two fishermen if they had had to spend another night at sea, the weather really turned yesterday and last night.  Well done to the crew of the RCIPs helicopter.

  5. Anonymous says:


    "RCIPS Air Support Unit" is (purposefully) vague.Sometimes the police will charter airplanes to assist in searches.

    CNS can you confirm that it was indeed the costly helicopter?

    • Anonymous says:

      Errrrrrrrrrrr…………….. read the story headline …………..doh

    • Anonymous says:

      Does it matter?? GOD! Glad they are ok.


      Here is the Video of the rescue. http://www.cayman27.com.ky/news/item/6533

    • Anonymous says:

      The RCIPS never charter aircraft, there are none available locally for hire. In times of need, local pilots like me volunteer our time and aircraft at our own expense to assist in search and rescue missions.  In my mind, the RCIPS is a clear demonstration of the value of the air wing. Congratulations to all.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well said  i could not have said  better, And A  big thank you to all that help out  in the serch for  OUR  father

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank God – what does it matter what it cost – lives were saved – a happy ending to what could have been a tradegy – Well done 

    • Anonymous says:

      What does it matter what it cost?  The cold reality is that human life has a price and it is valued in any economy.  These men were fortunate that the heliocopter is here and available.  Two premature babies in recent years were not because the machine the HSA needed is not here.  It is too expensive.  The premature babies had to be airlifted to Jamaica where the necessary equipment was.  Unfortunately their lives could not be saved.

      The fact of the matter is that we cannot afford every piece of equipment to save human life in all circumstances.   Accountants will determine that the equipment costs to save two premature babies is not worth it because it is not common enough.  The FAA did not order airlines to install fire extinguishing in aircraft compartments until a number of people had died in a preventable fire (valueJet accident).

      Now before anyone condemns me for this, I am not saying these men should perish and I am happy that they were found, and there is no doubt in my mind that having Air Support helped them.  There are however cheaper and just as efficient services.  If all boats were made to carry a beacon that emits position information a fast policeboat could have located them also.

      We must be careful of justifying the police helicopter for one such incident although the proponents will of course seize the opportunity to look good.

      • Anonymous says:

        Like local fishermen are going to have beacons fitted – get real!  They had a radio – that was not working due to battery failure.  There is real doubt these men would have survived adrift the storm that came through within several hours of the rescue.  No one job justifies anything for a hard nosed accountant…. but for the guys themselves and their families, and for others in the future, I bet it does right now. 

        Anyway, until you convince the whole Cayman Islands fleet to have the beacons fitted (that don’t work underwater when you have a sunken boat!), they will have to do the best that they can with what they have got.

        • Anonymous says:

          People are forced by law to wear seatbelts because it is proven they save more lives than not.  Beacons are cheap and waterproof and well worth the cost (they also work to great depths).  Safety is always a hard sell, which is one of the reasons laws are made.  Laws such as this are practical and are for the overall good of the people.


  7. 911 HELP says:

    Good to know they found them safe but is’nt this the same boat they went out looking for VERY recently too if YES they need to be more responsible and get there boat and equipment fixed properly before they decided to go so far and then expect to get rescued the expensive way.And yes MRCU plane could had done the same thing as they have always been here when mr hellie was no where in the skies.You would think one would learn after the island went thru such a sea tragedy earlier this year duh #@^%$#

    • Anonymous says:

      For your INFO yes it was the same boat but it was not that it was out to sea and in distress it was Marley that bad weather was in. and we was trying to get message to our father the first time. And thank GOD that the RCIPS had the capacity to be able to assist in these needed times you all should not be so quick to judge

  8. Jingo Jango says:

    Very fortunate outcome, but why are we just hearing about the missing boat now?  

    • Anonymous says:

      The reason why you all just heard about the boat because it was NOT missing they always go out to pickle bank fishing for a week it was only that the boat ran into engine trouble. It is not the fact that they were lost. And if Mr. Scott from the Brac had went to help him from Monday when we asked him to look for him you all would have never heard of this

  9. peg leg says:

    Well…if it was up to Mr.P….there might have not been any helicopter….thank God they were found.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thank God this seems to have ended well and an excellent use of the police helicopter.  Nice to see it being put to a good cause.

    • Anon says:

      Excellent outcome – glad to hear they’re safe and well.

      And as the other poster said, very good use of the helicopter – I said this before and I’ll say it again – that helicopter could prove invaluable on sea rescue missions amongst other things and I do believe in the long run we’ll all be glad to have it.

    • WooHoo says:

      Police Chopper hard at work, for the sake fo 2 souls it definately was worht the investment. Case closed!!!!! how much do you value your life ? Id say more than the cost fo the chopper! Can we stop complaining now? Just wait till they bring down a drug boat or two. RCIP Air and Marine Police are my heroes


      • Anonymous says:

        News flash. If the helicopter was not available, a small plane would have been used for search and rescue such as the MRCU planes. These are a lot less expensive to operate.

        So yes, it is good to see it put to good use, but that still does not justify the bad decision to purchase it in the first place.

        • Anonymous says:

          You, or someone has tried to make this point before, but the simple fact remains that the MRCU plane is ill-equipped to deal with air/sea rescue missions.

          The helicopter is fitted with forward looking infra red cameras and broadcast quality daylight cameras, all with recording facility for evidence.  It has aviation police radios for use into the Cayman Islands public radio system, a ‘Nightsun’ light capable of lighting up the area of a football field, and the ‘Skyshout’ public address system, which is capable of alerting the public on the ground, whether it is on the lookout for a missing person, or offender, or other information in a critical incident.  It is fitted with a video downlink system that allows the camera images to be relayed to other officers or commanders on the ground, giving the benefit of real time images to those on the ground.  Does the plane have all of this?

      • Anonymous says:

        well said totally agree