Rescued crew return home to warm welcome

| 05/08/2011

(CNS): The four local men who were almost lost at sea with two other crew members from Honduras finally returned home to their loved ones yesterday. Many friends and family members were at the airport Thursday to greet the men whose boat the Miss Janice got into difficulty in the open ocean around three weeks ago. Although the men were at first feared lost they were miraculously found to be alive and well after a tanker rescued all six of them. Chad Ebanks, Elvis Welcome, Ernest Rankine and Travis Welcome were headed to Honduras with a full boat load when the Miss Janice was sunk several hours after they left Cayman. (Photo by James Tibbetts)

When the 37 foot fishing boat capsized the men spent around a week on a raft with no food or water before they were plucked from the ocean by the CPO Sweden, headed to Texas. The tanker was diverted to New Orleans for several days before eventually docking in Houston where the men were then able to fly home.

The boat and crew were reported missing to the RCIPS on Thursday 21 July several days after the Miss Janice had left Cayman and as it turned out some five days after she had capsized. The police launched a search and rescue operation which lasted five days and covered more than 4,000 square miles and involved the RCIPS Marine and Air Operations Units as well as the Lynx helicopter from RFA Wave Ruler.

One of the crew members contacted his family on 26 July to say all six men who had been on board the vessel were safe and well and had been rescued after their ocean ordeal.

Category: Local News

Comments (19)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Glad they are safe! Even more glad that their stupidity did not harm any of the many rescuers who put themselves on the line to find them.

    Hopefully they will be made to answer to their reckles behaviour and pay for the rescue. This was not an act of God! Not the sinking of their boat, nor the rescue. The first was a direct result of the Captains negligence and the rescue was a direct result of a dedicated rescue crew!

    Happy that the crew had their faith to get them throught the ordeal…. but to come out of the airport and give god the credit for their saftey is a big slap in the face to the PEOPLE that came after them!

    Perhaps they can do some more praying to get their god to pay the actual hard cash it took to find and rescue them.

    Please hold the Captain accountable for his foolish and reckless actions!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank God that these men are safe and reunited with their families.  A big thank you to ALL who assisted in anyway with the safe return of these men.  Thanks for the many prayers for their safe return.

  3. Anon says:

    I'm glad they are home safe and sound. Now we need to ask ourselves how did they leave, with a cargo, to visit another country, without clearing customs and immigration. Think of the hastle that we go through when we leave Miami to fly home. Our border security has a big hole in it, and smugglers and terrorists could take advantage of that.

  4. Kirkey says:

    I glad these guy are back on island now an safe. Hope they does go safer if they does boat trip later.

    Finally a story with happy ending. Thank heavens

  5. Anonymous says:

    Over loaded boat! So. Anyone knows what was on the boat? Why was it so over loaded? How did the port authority let them go into the deep without proper inspection. Port authority are quite diligent when authorizing such passage, so who dropped the ball?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Now let hope the marine police and port authority have a chat with these men and book them for being an most idiots people for being put police/rescue teams life at risk.

    • Anonymous says:

      Talk about being idiots?! You have got to be the most idiotic and ignorant person to say something like that. Suppose that was your family out there, all you would care about is their safety and wellbeing.So shut the hell up and stop being so ignorant and making insensitive comments and let the family rejoice that their loved ones have come home safe and alive instead of having a memorial service with no bodies to bury.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hello, some one should book you for the destruction of the english language,genius.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your comment is hateful and spiteful you are very angry, hateful and lacking in compassion.  My wish for you is that you live the perfect life and never make a mistake, oops you just make one by your statement then again you are not one of us as is evident by your lack of compassion.  I hope you will learn compassion from real Caymanians.

  7. Anonymous says:

    :'-) – tears of joy – so happy they made it home safe and sound.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thank God for His mercies!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully they will have a great deal more respect for the power of the ocean in future and heed the warnings of the professionals not to attempt to go to sea in an overloaded boat.

    • Prosecute says:

      Sorry, but if I had passengers in my car that wasunsafe and put their lives at risk, I'd be arrested.  This boat captain needs to be prosecuted and made to pay for the rescue efforts.

      NO more unsafe boats to leave our shores! 

       

      • Mercy says:

        I bet if your friend, colleague or child went out got drunk and had a car accident you would beg for mercy for them.  Or would you prosecute?  No actually you would put them on a plane and get them off the island…right?

        Sometimes the ordeal itself is punishment enough.  These men watched death circle them for 9 days.  You think Northward or the Court means anything to them after that?

        But alas, the lesson isn't only for them.  It is for all of us.  

        There is no mechanism for them to be prosecuted, fined or punished.  They broke no law nor did they willfully disobey any public authority.

        Why don't you simply join the rest of us in rejoicing.  Celebrate…at least for this weekend.  Let's examine the lessons learned come Monday.  Hopefully you don't have any accidents between now and then.  We'll beg for mercy for you if you do.

      • Anonymous says:

        Except Cuban refugee boats which are only allowed to hover near our shores.

      • Anonymous says:

        I can recall at least 2 incidents within the last few years where the authorities have prosecuted boat captains for their actions that have resulted in the loss of a vessel or a crew overboard situation.

        The captains involved were not, if I recall correctly, Caymanian. Make of that what you will …

  10. McCarron McLaughlin says:

    The power of GOD is great!

  11. A True East Ender says:

    Welcome home Travis, Elvis , Chad and Ernest.  Best of luck to the two Hondurans also.  God bless all of you.

  12. Anonymous says:

    It is so nice to read a story with a happy ending.