Chopper finds missing men

| 03/09/2011

(CNS): Update -The crew from the missing vessel Renegade were found alive and well 56nm north of Cayman Brac, the RCIPS confirmed Saturday. Shortly before 10:00 am the AirOperations Unit located the vessel and the helicopter crew made contact with the two men on board via radio. The two men said they had been drifting since losing engine power Friday. The crew of the DoE vessel, Enforcer 2, towed the Renegade for ten hours, at times in extremely bad weather, before docking in Cayman Brac around 10:30 pm Saturday night.  Acting Inspector Clive Smith of the RCIPS Joint Marine Unit, who co-ordinated the search and rescue operation, said it was a great team effort to get the crew and the boat back to dock.

"Many people will recall that in August last year the Renegade was reported overdue and located several days later after a massive search operation. This time the vessel was fitted with a GPS emergency transmitter, which was able to be monitored by emergency regional co-ordination centres — that's why the  police helicopter crew located her so quickly this morning," he said Saturday night.

"The DoE crew of Erbin Tibbitts, his son, E J Tibbitts, and Sheldon Scott have done a wonderful job, in very difficult conditions,  to get the boat and crew back safe and sound. We thank them for their outstanding work."

The search and rescue operation was launched for the men in the 30-foot canoe type converted vessel earlier Saturday morning after one of the men's wives received the automated GPS distress call.

The RCIPS Marine and Air Operations Units, along with the US Coast Guard, began the search operation around 7am after the distress signal suggested the boat was around 72 miles NE of Grand Cayman.

Just over one year ago the Renegade and its crew went missing for a week and that time the crew was found by the RCIPS air support unit in the Pickle Bank area. Crew members at the time were Jorge Diaz and Westley Dixon, who spotted the police helicopter and released a distress flair.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This poor fisherman will always be in trouble because he is forced to travel to distant banks in order to catch a fish. Reform the draconian fishing Laws and let the man feed himself and his family closer to home.

    Yes he has been in trouble several times, but he keeps on fishing because he would rather do that than become a charge on social services such as many who are criticising him here.

    • Anonymouse says:

      Which draconian laws, exactly, are keeping him from making a living in Cayman waters? Or is it that the local waters have already been fished down so to make regular large catches of big fish he needs to go further offshore, specifically to a less-fished area?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely well done to the RCIPS!  The entire crew should be awarded the Victoria cross, the medal of honour, The Red Cross the Iron Cross and whatever other crosses there are.  They should be made national hero's  It takes great skill and effort to home in on a beacon in a multi million dollar machine packed with electronics to do this.  I am so proud of the RCIPS.  What's that you say?  Crimefighting?  Oh yes I think they do that also, just yesterday I saw an officer standing on a street corner, checking for those notorious criminals that have expire coupons on their cars.  He was being so diligent he didn't miss one car because he slowed down all the people trying to get to work and make a living.  Even a pick up truck with an ATM in the back didn't escape his eager eye for an expire licence coupon!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a lot of you armchair boaters need to be informed. If you had a boat you would know that license fees are to be paid and yes mandatory inspections are a requirement for larger boats. Whether every boat will always be perfect and never fail is yet to be detemined.

    Did you know your car battery, waterpump or tire was going to fail the last time it stranded you? Give the man a break and stop spouting off nonsense when you have nothing positive to contribute.

    I for one am glad our island has the rescue teams, volunteers and resources to help find people when they are in trouble at sea. Kudo's to all those who were involved!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Great job guys, and big props to my brother in law, Sheldon Scott for always putting his life on the line to save other without receiving a dollar in compensation.

    You have been doing this for over 25 years now, and deserve big props as not many in the world would do that. May God continue to bless you.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The DOE officer in the Brac is always rescueing people that have broken down and needs to be towed but you dont always hear about only if it involves Grand Cayman it becomes a big news item, maybe now the Brac will get its Police boat that has been sitting here from time it came but oh wait if it goes there whos gonna operate it, MLAs for the Brac start standing up for what we are intitled to get.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so stupid!!!!! go ask Julie for what you want or since you feel the Brac is still left out compared to Grand Cayman do what Audley Scott wanted and become your own nation!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Simple… See the name above,Hire Sheldon Scott back and let him operate it.After all he was trained to do it just before he retired.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is the only way this man can make an honest living….does anyone want to give him some money to fix his boat ?????? I think not!! So wish the man well and make him earn his living…..honestly!!!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    WE SURELY HAVE SOME HARD HEART PEOPLE HERE.    IT is all good for some of you to want goverment to seize his boat and sell it, but if you all had know this man i think you would say some thing different.  MR dixon is a poor man with ONE leg, he has a family to support. which he does through  fishing. he could be like some of us who sit back and wait on goverment to give a cheque every month, but he rather to try to do his duty.   support his family. the boat might not be the best boat in the world but it is his, and he do not have anything else.  THE PREMIER JUST GAVE AWAY MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO THE CHURCHES, CALLING IT NATION BUILDING FUN. MR SOLOMON ,MR ADAM, MR PREMIER CAN YOU BE KIND ENOUGH TO ASSIST THIS POOR AMBITIOUS HANDY CAP MAN SO HE CAN SUPPORT HIS FAMILY

  8. Anonymous says:

    Give it a rest Michel you are starting to sound like the Police mascot the boat had a water proof Spot GPS device on board which sends out an emergency/distress signal giving exact co-ordinates and even has theability to transmit the exact nature of vessel emergency or distress in this case. So the prudent management of our money and resources could have been better employed in this situation as it  took the DOE sometime to get to vessel it was obviously not an emergency.

    • Anonymous says:

      So you would have a recovery team set off in a boat over 56 miles on the chance it was just a broken down engine ans that the location given is right. It was a distress call as reported, with no indication of the nature of the distress I think you will find from othe rmedia. The quickest way to ascertain the rescue requirements is to send the helicopter.  Once the nature of the call is assessed, then it becomes 'not an emergency'.  Everyone is an expert.

  9. Gorr Blighty says:

    Twice?  Seize the boat and sell it to pay for the costs.  Stop the captain from having a licence or a licence for a business involving boats.

    • Anonymous says:

      aww c'mon

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, take away the man's living why don't you.  Then he can claim social services.  Its an honest living and the man is having a hard time life many of us.  Its better to do what we can to helphim continue to make a living than take his boat away.

      • Anonymous says:

        Isn't that where most of Caymans money goes anyway?  To the social service called Civil service and to help the umemployable get paid for doing whatever it is they actually do to get paid?  Just throw some more money at him and call it nation building.  This is Cayman.  don't like it take your business, skill, money, and education and go home where it is apreciated and not wasted.

  10. Come On Man! says:

    The Port Authority, Shipping Registry or the Government department with the responsibility for vessel safety really needs to inspect this vessel to make sure it is sea worthy & compliant with all applicable regulations.  The Captain must be made to reimburse the Government for all expenses associated with this search & rescue. I am thankful that they were found & that they are safe & well.  Thanks RCIPS.

  11. GR says:

    While the RCIPS helicopter found the boat, it must be remembered that other agencies were involved too.  I know that (at least one) Cayman Airways Express flight helped with the search.  Kudos to everyone involved (and there's most probably more agencies involved than I am aware of).

  12. Anonymous says:

    Sooner or later some form of vessel inspection will be necessary in Cayman. When the Sting Ray City tour boat rolled over several years ago I thought that incident would be the motivation for some form of vessel inspection but since no one died it was not taken seroiusly. It seems that in Cayman unless a tourist dies that vessel inspection will remain ignored.

  13. Anonymous says:

    So much for the so called tradition of outstanding Cayman Seamen.

    • Anonymous says:

      lighten up, lubber

    • Anonnymous says:

      Different generation – traditional Caymanian Seaman had common sense, and a respect for the sea.  When seamen were lost in hurricanes etc. in the distant past, it was not through their own stupidity – note that in those days there was no radio communication available.

    • Anonymous says:

      You never lose what you think is an opportunity to denigrate Caymanians, do you?

      Do you really believe that these mishaps only occur here?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Well done, RCIPS, a great job, well done!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Who will pay for this rescue?

  16. Freedom Man says:

    I'm glad they are OK but is this really news?

    • Loopy Lou says:

      It is news that our limited public resources are being wasted things like this when those involved in the industry should pay for it.

  17. Anonymouse says:

    Thanks to the DoE for going out andtowing them back. I'm not a fan of the chopper (value for money) but I may be wrong as it does seem to be doing better than the Police Boats. I wonder how much the DoE's Enforcer 2 cost compared to the Sea Arks?

  18. Anonymous says:

    How did the police copter crew find these survivors? By searching over open water, or was it given the GPS coordinates?

    Too bad that the copter is not equipped with a winch to lift personnel from the water. Without that equipment, the copter could do nothing useful, except report or confirm coordinates.

    And at a estimated flying cost of $1500 per hour.


  19. Michel says:

    11:28 I find your comment: "  cold and immature" to say the least. The correct manner to express your opinion would have been more in the line HOW 11:23 wrote ," after they have been found". I do agree that we cannot always bear the cost if it keeps happening to the same persons over and over again as Many more things Could be improved. However it's also morebound to happen to one more often who fishes for a living and in case you don't know it's Murphy's Law out there and if anything will go wrong it will go…. research the rest . 10:48 I am glad that you are noticing that times are hard and one must do what he can if it's their livelyhood. Been to 12 miles bank lately ? I definatly have more compassion of one trying to make an honest living having to go out so far in bad weather( I don't know many who really enjoys this) then one trying to steal an ATM machine from a HOSPITAL belonging to Butterfield bank. Michel

  20. Anonymous says:

    Well done to the RCIPS chopper and all involved for yet another potential live saving operation.  The chopper is not just a police asset but gives value to all the emergency services with air ambulance, coastguard and search and rescue.  Also, well done the boat crew for carrying a GPS system that alerted the authorities to their difficulties.  It could so easily have turned into yet another week helpless at sea like the last time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well done for the crew?


      This same boat was lost for 6 days just a year ago.


      License fees? why those that do take care of their boats or only go to rum point need to pay for careless people like these?

      Get them to pay now or keep the boat to recov er the cost of the 2 rescue operations that were lunched because of them!


  21. Like it is says:

    Boats need their licence fees to increase dramatically so the public does not have to pay for these repeated incidents almost all of which are avoidable.

    • Anonymous says:

      So other boaters who keep their boats in good condition and who do not go outside of VHF range have to pay licence fees to rescue those who put themselves in a position where they need the rescue services? Why don't we have car owners pay increased insurance to cover those who canot afford it or choose not to pay for it whilst we are about it?

      • Loopy Lou says:

        In fact increased claims in the auto industry and losses incurred by accidents involving the uninsured are spread across the auto-insuring population to a far greater degree than you would imagine. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t be silly. Noone pays license fees at all except a few victims of vindictive and arguably corrupt officials. Your proposal would require a law to be enforced. Where do you live?

  22. Michel says:

    Well done RCIPS. Kudos are appreciated to all who participated in the search and a story that ends well and want you to know that it is greatly appreciated 🙂 and of course the wife who received the GPS distress signal and knew how to respond. A lesson learned for all of us. Well done again. Michel

  23. Michel says:

    Well done RCIPS. Kudos are appreciated to all who participated in the search and a story that ends well and want you to know that it is greatly appreciated 🙂 and of course the wife who received the GPS distress signal and knew how to respond. A lesson learned for all of us. Well done again. Michel

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, just maybe this is the only way that this man can make a living. Do you want to give him any money to fix his boat. I can say for a fact that he is making an honest living which is more than i can say for some people. So, be happy for him and it may be the dinner that you eat one night that he is out there fighting for????

  24. Anonymous says:

    He should be made to pay this time if he is found, clearly this vessel is not being maintained properly.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Good they were rescued.  Now this time they should get a new engine and everything mechanical on this vessel as they went missing not long ago with similar issues.  People may say now that maybe they cant afford to well if thats the case yes work with what you have and stay closer to shore!

  26. Anonymous says:

    The boat  has been found and the crew is safe. thank you RCIPS  marine and air operations from Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Times must be very bad when our fishermen leave to go fishing at Pickle Bank in bad weather.  I pray that the occupants of this boat will be found alive and well. 

    • Anonymous says:

      10:48, You dont really know how some people having it hard living.  I heard some people say they can only afford to eat once a day, and only burn light in the bathroom.  Now that is bad.  But the question is which of the MLA is checking out the people in their districts.   I hope they are all getting ready for next election, because both parties will be gone.