Marine unit deals with three sea rescues

| 04/01/2010

(CNS): Officers from the RCIPS Marine Unit came to the rescue of three different boats over the New Year weekend when one ran out of fuel, another capsized and a third most almost sank. With the help of a private boater and the local helicopter the sea cops potentially saved the lives of seven people. However, the officers said that some of the marine regulations were being flouted by the vessels involved and warned that they would deal with all those on the water who fail to obey safety regulations.


The first incident which saw the unit in action occurred at around 4.15pm on New Years Eve, (Thursday 31 December 2009). Police received a report that three men had apparently run out of fuel while returning from a fishing trip on the 12 Mile Banks. The men were unable to use their GPS system and were unsure of their exact location.

Police said that search and rescue effort was co-ordinated involving Harbour Patrol, Marine Unit vessel Tornado and the helicopter. A short time later the boat was traced to a point approximately 16 miles northwest of North West Point. The RCIPS Marine Unit towed the boat and it’s occupants to safety. No-one was injured.

Then at about 6.00am on New Years Day (Friday 1 January 2010) police received a report from the owner of a boat that his craft was on the edge of a shallow bar and was sinking close to Water Cay. The Marine Unit immediately attended, pumped the vessel and towed the boat and its owner to safety.

Later that same day – shortly after 9.00pm, police were informed that a boat with three men on board had capsized in heavy seas off of Gun Bay. One of the men was a non-swimmer. A Police Marine Unit officer from that area was dispatched and was assisted by a private boat owner. Shortly after commencing a search the three were found. Again no one was injured.

Inspector Brad Ebanks, officer in charge of the Marine Unit Operations, said the unit was grateful to the member of the public who was willing to render assistance. “The arrival of our Marine Unit vessel would have been some time away and time is of the essence when it comes to reports such as these. I also wish to commend the officer who responded to the call and as a result three persons are back home safely,” he said.

“All of these people were lucky to have escaped without injury or worse. It’s important that people using boats are fully aware of how to operate the equipment on the vessel they are using – such as their GPS and radios – and that they are able to contact the police as soon as they realize that they are experiencing problems.”

He explained that in a number of these incidents the vessels involved did not have the necessary safety equipment (i.e. life vest for every person onboard, flares etc.) required under that Port Authority Law. “We willbe addressing these issues with the necessary boat owners,” Ebanks added.

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  1. Peter Milburn says:

    The recent boat mishaps could have been a lot worse but why do people still insist on going out in bad rough weather.I can think of at least 5-6 deaths at sea because of this lack of judgement on some boaters parts.If in doubt stay out of the water or stay inside one of the shallow sounds to have your fun.Cayman is famous for its many seafarers but it seems like the younger ones did not take heed of the older ones advice when it comes to safe boat handling.Prevention is ALWAYS better than cure.

                  SAFE BOATING!!!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks to the previous administration for providing the funding necessary to increase & improve the RCIPS Marine capabilities. Please look after them RCIPS.

  3. Debt Collecter says:

    I do hope they sent the bill to the individuals involved

    • Anonymous says:

      Why? you don’t get sent a bill by the fire department when your house is on fire, or by the police when you get your car broken into.

    • Anon says:

      Agreed. What a waste of police resources. If I run out of gas on the way home from work  I wouldn’t expect the cops to bring me a tankful. But yet these plebs go out sailing in stormy weather without enough gas, without life jackets and in some cases not even being able to swim.

      These idiotic people go out in all weathers ill equiped and then get into trouble and the police have to waste time and money coming to get them.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Quote "Then at about 6.00am on New Years Day (Friday 1 January 2010) police received a report from the owner of a boat that his craft was on the edge of a shallow bar and was sinking close to Water Cay. The Marine Unit immediately attended, pumped the vessel and towed the boat and its owner to safety."

    Actually what happened was that the police tied the owners boat to their truck to try and stop the boat from tipping back in to deeper water. The truck apparantly started slipping back towards the water. The owner then called Harbour House Marina who arrived with their rescue boat and pumped the boat out and then towed the boat back to the marina.

    Nice slant on events!!!!

    • Cayman Z says:

       Thats how it usually goes and we need to stop heaping praise for what they are paid to do sets a bad precedent.

      • someone who gives a whoot says:

        HMMM As far as I know praise is provided worldwide for law enforcement when they do the job they ave been paid to do resulting inlives being saved. Would definatly not want you to be the Boss of anyone with that attitude or outlook. When law enforcement put their lives on the line to save others yes they are paid to do it and there is no reward other than knowing the satisfaction that he/she made a difference.  I guess that is setting a bad precedent………………..I think not

        • Mr Sims says:

           There is something about the truth and accurate reporting and to those who give a whoot like a previous Police issued report/ statement involving two ladies who were robbed and beaten on West Bay Rd. There was a clear contrast of what happened and what was reported according to one of the victims. If you took the time to read the posts you would have seen a true account of what really happened and not statements issued by the state. if  those who are entrusted to tell the people the truth about the small stuff cant no wonder we are having problems. Praise should be given where it is due And we should reserve it for members of the public who are not paid for such task. As far as laying your life on the line a gas station attendant does the same everytime he pumps gas in a motorcar should we praise him for his job. Mr whoot my question is where are you employed and sure sounds like you have a personal interest in a police commendation.

          • someone who gives a whoot says:

            Where should I start….I did read the posts, obviously and I actually was present with the boat that was sinking and how the state put it was incorrect.  Information is sometimes passed on incorrectly it happens and it was corrected here on site by another person. This is really pathetic I must say to compare a Law Enforcement officer to a person pumping gas… risking their lives…..lets take the Police Marine Unit for example who on a daily basis patrol with minimum equipment looking for drug vessels day n night who may be armed, do search and rescue when most people would not dare venture out…..I could go on and on as yes I used to be in the Marine Unit so I know what its all about and many times with the assistance of members of the public during certain situations

            . As for a police commendation i guess i should get one for letting you know that one day the same people you put down may be the ones saving you…………

          • LADY OF A MAN IN BLUE says:

            Sure praise should be given to these guys, when people make stupid decisions like surfing in a Tropical storm or hurricane or moving a boat in bad weather knowing quite well what you are doing then these guys have to come get you, our only take enough gas to get you to where you want to go  to fish then call for help to get back and yes there are some that get in honest distress while on the open water and needs help and they are there to rescue them.

             Yes i am one effected by what these guys do when you are told that you are loved but not sure if they will make it back to you as they have to do a rescue in deplorable weather but duty calls, and no they are not paid enough to risk their lives for people making bad  judgements or stupid decisions but they still do it for the love of the the people and country.

            You are just a pestimist. And how can you compare a pump attendent to a POLICE OFFICER.


  5. Andrew Ward says:

    Whilst returning from a fishing trip to Pickle Banks a few weeks ago, I was extremely fortunate to have been assisted by the RCIP Marine Unit, who brought extra fuel out to us, some 20 miles North of Cayman.

    Inspector Brad Ebanks and his officers could not have been more caring and professional in dealing with our emergency, which could have turned from a minor incident in to a full scale search and rescue, had it not been for their prompt actions.

    I hold these Officers in the highest regard and doubt there is a more capable marine police service anywhere, they undoubtedly deserve praise for their selfless actions and I will always be grateful for their prompt assistance. 

    Lady and Gentleman Officers, I owe you a great debt of gratitude and thank you on behalf of the crew and myself. 

    Yours sincerely

    Andrew Ward





    • The truth hurts says:

      How about repaying our taxes that were wasted picking you up because you were too stupid to fill up your boat?

      It is muppets like this that keeps the police tied up so they can’t do their real job of protecting our borders and stop smugglers bringing in weapons and drugs.

  6. anonymous says:

    I agree with the writer that Baines and Haines would make a dynamic duo, and it has nothing to do with them being caymanian or not and i am a daughter of the soil but not so stupid as to think nationality is needed to solve these crimes. So come on Baines,recruit Haines to be your new Quality Assurance Deputy  PoliceCommissioner, isn’t that  how government business is run. Its not a one man show, that will get you fired real quick, so you better smart up and get some help.  Baines you take care of inside and let Haines take care of outside and the job will get done. We plan on getting more aggressive with this request, so be prepared to get a lot more serious request on this matter sane?

    Love ya all


  7. satellite says:

    It’s interesting to see the glut of positive stories coming (presumably) out of the RCIPS media liaison office/officer…

    I hope the police continue to perform in this fashion, and capitalise on it. They police with our consent and they need to remember that, and continue to work to restore and maintain of confidence.

    The Commissioner has to have the cajones to make some tough and unpopular decisions this year, to improve his service that is in tatters. We deserve a world-class 21st century police service, and have to accept that the world does not revolve around cayman, and the ‘old ways’, but we are a progressive and prominent country, whose reputation is in ruins.

    Everyone (politicians, priests, board members, police officers, police bosses, residents..) needs to ditch their own agendas, and work for the common goal of a better country.