Cop chopper out of action

| 28/02/2012

nathan.JPG(CNS): As a full scale search continued Tuesday on land, sea and air in the search for 30-year-old Nathan Clarke, the police helicopter was out of action for what officials described as operational reasons. As a result the RCIPS is working with the MRCU Unit using its fixed-wing aircraft for the search. Cayman Islands Helicopters has also been privately commissioned by friends of Nathan to assist. Meanwhile, the K-9 Unit and the police boats, along with dozens of civilian volunteers, have also been searching for the teaching assistant, who was last seen near Calico Jack’s on Seven Mile Beach three days ago. 

Clarke was last seen by his partner and friends walking towards the water’s edge near the bar wearing beige swim shorts at around 8.30 pm on Saturday, 25 February. Police are appealing for anyone who has information about Nathan’s disappearance to come forward. Superintendent Marlon Bodden is overseeing the enquiry and said an incident room has been established at West Bay police station and he asked anyone who has information to contact officers there.

"We would be particularly keen to hear from anyone who was on public beach early on Sunday morning at Calico Jacks for the 'off the Beaten Track‘ event. If you were involved in the event and saw anything out of the ordinary on the beach on Sunday morning, please call us now,” he urged.

Nathan’s friends believed that he was planning to walk along the beach towards his West Bay home. A few minuteslater his friends started walking along the beach in the direction of West Bay but they could find no trace of Nathan, the police said. They then all returned to their respective homes believing that he would return safe and sound later that night. But when he had failed to turn up or contact any of his friends or his girlfriend, he was reported as missing to police on Sunday morning.

“Since receiving the report Uniform, CID, Marine and K-9 officers from the RCIPS, assisted by members of the public and friends of Nathan, have conducted extensive searches along Seven Mile Beach and West Bay Road. The water searches have involved four RCIPS Marine vessels and divers. The areas between the Kittiwake site and Governors Beach have been covered, extending over 400 meters out to sea. On the land side, over 60 civilian volunteers and police teams have covered from Governors Beach to Salt Creek and the Dykes. The RCIPS K-9 Unit has also been heavily involved in the searching,” a police spokesperson said on Tuesday afternoon.

CCTV footage as well as telephone records are currently been reviewed to ascertain if they can be of any assistance in tracing Nathan’s whereabouts.

The spokesperson said that a Family Liaison Officer has been appointed by the RCIPS to ensure that Nathan’s girlfriend and his family, who are located in Europe, are kept fully updated with developments.

Information can be passed on the following numbers, West Bay police station 949-3999 or RCIPS tip-line 949-7777.

Friends of Nathan have also set up a FaceBook page and are appealing for financial assistance to keep the Cayman Islands helicopter in the air. Funds can be donated via PayPal, or local residents can visit Dukes restaurant on the West bay Road opposite the public beach where the police are still co-ordinating searches.

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Comments (29)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Where was the chopper for the other two missing persons? Find all three people using all resources not using more on one.

  2. Anonymous says:

    was the chopper away or on island for the other two missing persons?

  3. Anonymous says:

    OK, today's news said that the tower picked up a signal from his cell phone on Monday morning. Where?

    • Anonymous says:

      rumor mill told me it was between calicos and a tower on NW point road – a long stretch and doesn't really help us get any closer to what may have happened or where Nathan may be. this was from a reliable source who has helped extensively with the search and  I was told this yesterday afternoon  before it was mentioned anywhere in the media.

      i know the RCIP aren't obligated to keep us posted on all of their movements, but I’d really like to know if they are using the recently installed CCTV cameras along the 7 mile strip. they could use them to look for a shirtless guy walking towards WB that night, and could track down vehicles that had driven up or down the road around the time of his disappearance. I would hope this would be one of the first means of investigation they'd use…

      Nathan's disappearance has everyone baffled and worried, to say the least. I'm sure the RCIP are doing what they can with thier limited resources, but I have to say I was a little disappointed to hear they were calling the search off Monday at 6PM and would be back Tuesday at 9.15AM. Myself and a number of others carried on searching until after sunset….



    • Anonymous says:

      They said somewhere near Calico's and Northwest point, I think. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    It's embarassing that the family and friends of Nathan have to raise money to be able to have a helicopter look for him, when the police have one.  Whose problem is it that the helicopter is not on island?? Certainly not Nathan's family's.  The RCIPS should be footing the bill on this one.  No questions asked. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I couldn't agree more! It's disgusting.

    • Watcher says:

      10:40 you are still giving the police force blame fore every thing.   Its time to leave them alone dont you think.

    • Helicopter says:

      1440: tell me something, what do you expect the Cayman Island government to do, if the Helicopter is on repairs?  USE CAYMAN AIRWAYS, sometimes I wish people would use their friggin heads to think before commenting nonsence.  Imagine the Government has one little hrlicopter, and it so happens that at this time unfortunately it is out of service, and you people are talking crap.

      Take up a collection, if you want to do something, and hire one,  As many of you that are on here I bet you all will not make arrangements to give up 25,00 each  twenty five dollars.  What is 25. 00 to hire a helicopter.   Mean, mean, mean.  Do something and stop critizing.   The whole Cayman is moaning over the disappearance of this man.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It is discraceful and embarassing to only have one cop hellicopter. Foresight RCIP and Government. What happens now? There should be atleast 4 Helicopters here. And to publish such a headline. Get real!!!! This place is becoming so scary and dangerous and you dont even have the right people to protect us nor the equipment to aid searches.

    This will fall on deaf ears as usual but I will let it known this place is getting worse.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you kidding?

      The country is broke and each helicopteris very expensive and crews and maintenance is not cheap.

    • Anonymous says:

      People raised hell about having even one helicopter. Now you want a fleet. Obviously you don't know how expensive and difficult it is to operate helicopters.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The family and freinds of Nathan are doing a spectacular job in getting the word out to all the medias.. their effort should be commended.

    Just a thought regarding the helicopter, could they maybe approach Esso / Texaco to see if they can donate fuel to the private helicopter to reduce the cost to the fund?

    Praying for Nathans safe return, and strength for the family and friends.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nice idea, although the fuel costs will be approx only 10% of the total hourly costs being charged.


  7. Anonymous says:

    It really bothers me to think that private citizens had to raise funds to hire a private helicopter to assist with the air search.  The Police should have taken the responsibiltiy to immediately hire & deploy the private helicopter as part of their service to the community if the Police helicopter was not in service. 

    I have participated in the search for Nathan and I was amazed to find how many cut out areas are among the trees & bushes on the seaside as well as abandoned property.  It is evident that drugs & other illegal activity take place inside these areas.  XXXX


  8. Anonymous says:

    The friends and family of Nathan are being forced to pay for the helicopter to search by air.  They have set up a PayPal account and a cash drop center, and are desperate for financial support.  The helicopter is costing $1,600 per hour, and they simply cannot affort to keep it in the air.  Any support from the public is greatly appreciated.  Cash donations can be made at Dukes, opposite Public Beach, and the PayPal account is

  9. Anonymous says:

    what are the operational reasons???? i demand a further explanation….is it funding, repairs?????

    • Anonymous says:

      The Police said yesterday at the news conference it was on scheduled deep maintenance, so not really that big a deal? 

  10. Anonymous says:

    RCIPS: is an update possible on your boat fleet incl how many of them are still non operational, since when, and why?

    But back to what should be the focus of this article despite the headline – lets hope you are found safe and well Nathan.

  11. Mushroom1 says:

    I hope and pray for the safe return of this man. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

    I am confused as govt info release indicated ‘operational issues’ as the reason for no helicopter support. Okay, hmmm, ‘operational issues’, what is that code for? It did not mention ‘mechanical’ or even ‘technical’ problems. Sounds to me like there is no one to ‘operate’ the helicopter, i.e. like the pilot is on vacation. Could be totally wrong,, but the wording from govt. is odd, and seems to be contrived to avoid addressing the real issue. Which goes again to the lack of transparency the people of this island face daily. Sad.

  12. Caymanian Boat Captain says:

    Police Chopper gone to Louisianna USA to get an "oil change" or got stuck there during "Mardi Gras" or better yet, awaiting a part to arrive from the UK sometime during the next 3 months !!! 

  13. Anonymous says:

    No one noticed the police chopper has been gone for weeks? I hope someone finds Nathan.

  14. Anonymous says:

    How long does it take to check the cameras in the area where he disappeared, are they working? If so surely you can update us to say if he was seen and whereabouts???

    • Anonymous says:

      Seconded!  CNS can you get any information about the cameras? Do they work? Were they on? Did they see anything? Even if they only recorded the cars that went up WB road at that time the cops could talk to the drivers and to see if they saw anything and check the cars to see if there's any damage.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Total of 3 pepole missing, not to say they are related…but nevertheless three people missing.  I think this one though England will be involved!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I totally agree: there are now 3 people missing and it seems that the previous 2 have already been forgotten. The police don't update the medias on the progress ( or none) of the investigations and it really seem that they brushed them under the carpet.

      It is a tiny island and people are disappearingjust like that and it's forgotten!!! Seriously now how can people just disappear and no one( the police) is really concerned about it??? 

      It really makes me angry. All I can say is : Please people be VERY vigilant!

      I hope Nathan is found soon…

    • A person says:

      For a moment there, we were united in our concern for a man whose safety we fear for. Thank you for bringing us back from the brink of togetherness to the comfort of political point-scoring, division and resentment.

    • v.V.v says:

      Don't fool yourself. England has already told friends and family that this is a local problem and that they will not assist. We are all at the mercy of the RCIP. My prayers are with Lisa and Nathan's friends and family.