Police carry out over 30 sea-rescue ops in 5 months

| 06/12/2012

police boats.jpg(CNS): Officers from the Joint Marine Unit are urging people using the ocean to be more safety conscious when heading out to sea as they revealed that over the past 5 months the Unit has been involved in more than 30 search and rescue operations. Reminding people of the safety precautions they should be taking, Sergeant Clive Smith of the Marine Unit pointed out that sea safety was a major priority for the police but too many people using the water were not taking safety issues seriously. He also warned jet skiers to be more cautious of swimmers and snorkelers.

“Making sure people are safe at sea is a top priorityfor the Joint Marine Unit,” Sgt Smith said. “But it’s clear that many people fail to take account of the weather conditions before setting off and people are still heading out to sea ill-equipped. We are also starting to receive an increased number of reports about people on jets skis travelling far too close to swimmers and snorkelers. If people don’t start using common sense and adopting the proper safety procedures when they are on the water then I’m afraid it won’t be too long before we have yet another serious incident or fatality.”

Sergeant Smith advised anyone planning on going out to sea to check weather reports and the sea conditions before heading out. He added that at this time of year seas can be rough from cold fronts, especially on the west and north sides of the Island. The marine cop advised people to fill out a Float Plan and inform someone of their intended departure and returning points, including ETA. He also said boaters should ensure that their vessel has a personal life vest for each person on board as well as a working VHF radio and cell phone, flares, a mirror, sufficient fuel, and VRO/engine oil.

The sergeant said that when launching, vessel crews should check that the bung or drain plug has been inserted to avoid sinking.

Once at sea, boaters should obey the Port Authority Law by not exceeding 5 knots within 200 yards of the shore line and 50 yards of any vessel at anchor and to always be on the lookout for any divers, swimmers or snorkellers who may be in the water.

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Comments (8)

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  1. Anonymous says:

     no running lights .to  the driver of a white center console boat around 25 feet long leaving kaibo at 7:00 pm on sat Dec 1 with no runnig lights  at a high rate speed. I just want you to know that you came so close to hitting me that the spray from your boat cover me and my passengers and if i had not reacted as quick as i did we could have been badly hurt or worse. please be more alert when operat ing a vessel at night and use your dam runnig lights. You know who are.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s hard enough at night to drive a boat while drunk let alone remember to turn on running lights…jeez!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Seriously people, if there is one person who deserves the title of National Hero it is Mr. Ladner Watler. Not only did Mr. Watler rescue me and my friend when capsized in South Sound Channel with 6 foot seas breaking around us, since our rescue I have heard of so many more turn-ups and rescues in the same location.


    I am also pretty sure that Mr. Watler, over his long career in the marine services, has come to the aid of many individuals around Cayman. When the nominations are coming around again for National awards, let us remember what Mr. Watler has done for the many families in Cayman.


    Mr. Watler is not the only one who is deserving of our gratitude for fearless dedication and service in times of distress at sea. Mr. CJ Jackson and Mr. Chris Briggs (to name a few) also come to mind.


    These men think of distress rescues and responses as a duty and do not do it for reward. I cannot thank them enough.

  3. Environ-mentallist says:

    This is a nice article… They needed some good publicity after runing their truck over with the boat last week.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Too many people with too much money and not enough common sense.

    Boat Captain courses and licensing should be mandatory to operate any boat – revenue raiser and our oceans would be much safer!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Look, look everyone…. this is the kind of thing that the PPM wasted money on. New police boats – isn't that disgraceful? Why didn't they waste it on first class airline tickets for themselves and their cronies instead?  🙂

  6. Baldric says:

    And that guy parasailing off the back of the police boat … it's not what you think … he's doing covert surveillance on conch rustlers while dressed as a civilian.  And them ain't fishing lines but short wave aerials.