Cubans brought to Cayman following sea rescue

| 04/09/2012

(CNS): The police helicopter was on the front line in another major rescue operation after a group of Cuban refugees aboard a 20 foot sailing boat got into difficulties some 40 miles south east of Grand Cayman. At around 3.50pm on Monday, 3 September, the RCIPS police helicopter was on routine maritime patrol when the crew saw and investigated the sailing boat, which was drifting in the water with nine people on board. The occupants were seen to wave a white flag and they had no radio communications. A police spokesperson said that through signing the helicopter crew established that the boaters needed assistance.

Due to the distance from shore, the RCIPS helicopter crew identified the MV Emma Bulkers, a tanker which was around ten miles away. The helicopter crew established radio contact with the captain and requested that the tanker render assistance to the Cubans. The tanker was guided to the sailing vessel, and all nine people, who appeared to be in good health, were taken on board the vessel, which then continued to head towards Grand Cayman.

The Joint Marine Unit’s boat, The Cayman Guardian, with police, customs and immigration officers on board, deployed and met with the tanker. The Cubans were transferred to the Guardian which arrived at the Royal Watler terminal in George Town on Monday night and was met by immigration officials, who will process the Cubans before deporting them back to the neighbouring island.

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  1. noname says:

    Anonymous 20;23. Look at the little response to your Red Flag on the possible cholera outbreak because of  the infected Cubans!  No surprise; the majority of people in this CNS  forum is suffering from an intelligence deficit disorer!

    Gossip mongering and smear tactcs is much more mportant than savng their own lives and others!

    Good try 20;23, but you'll need another forum to get ths kind of message accross.


    CNS: Perhaps the CNS readers have read this Cayman remains cholera free as Cuban cases mount and decided not to get carried away with unnecessary panic.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This helicopter is a darn sight more useful and better value for money than our politicians.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Here we go again…Yet another stretch of the truth by the Police Comissioner to make it sound like somethiing great was done. He is the master of turning an ant hill into a mountain AND insulting the intelligence of those who know better.

    Think about these few things for a minute. What was the helo doing 40 miles out to sea on a "routine patrol" when the territorial limit of the Cayman Islands extends out to 12 miles only. Thet DID NOT find the poor Cubans, The ship found them and notified the Cayman Authorities and the helo then went to the scene. The Guardian did not make any contact with them and take them from onboard the tanker until they were a half mile off George Town Harbour. That does not qualify as being a "rescue", that is merely "providing a water taxi service". The Cubans could have practically walked ashore from there.

    Why could the 3 Caymanians and 2 Jamaicans not be found after drifting for over a week until members of the public saw them about 300 feet off Frank Sound. The press releases said that the air and marine units were involved in a large scale rearch and rescue operation for days trying to find them. What a crock of B.S. The truth is, the helo went out one time on thursday evening  for about 2 hours and at no time was any marine unit vessel deployed to search for them.

    The Commish said also that the vessels in the marine unit have never been in better shape than they are now. If someone wants to see a real eye opener, just FOI the maintenance and repair records of the vessels in the marine unit; there you will see where money has gone to hell. Props, lower units, shafts, struts, engines, acsystems and electronics, most of which have been damaged and changed several times over the past few months. Their maintainance costs is far greater than their fuel bill, that says a lot. According to figures i heard during a recent meeting of the finance committee, the figure for fuel cost by the DEH was way more than that of the marine unit. What a joke.


    • Anonymous says:

      You've got to laugh at the conspiricy nuts, but I suppose if you have that sort of imagination then anything is possible.  Leaving the fact that the aircraft is perfectly entitled under international and national law to fly beyond territorial limits in the course of it's duties (try to think why the aircraft would be on that patrol, it's not difficult) how does the above commentator believe that the Cubans were able to contact Cayman to ask for help whilst floating 40 miles away from the nearest phone mast?  Smoke signals?  And he must be the only person on Cayman gullible enough to believe the 'canoe' was floating around Cayman for a week waiting to be found and just happened to struggle to Frank Sound that morning.  Elvis is alive and well and living on the moon….discuss!

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so wrong on all counts, from someone that does know the truth – and clearly you do not.  Your comments are the joke.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can tell you the chopper WAS out looking for them plenty and not just on one isolated two hour occasion as you suggest.  The chopper was out most, if not all days, and regularly is seen both day and night, particularly in the area you complain of.

      How do I know?  Because we live and go fishing on our boat out there and see them over us all the time.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good Job,……But are we left with a floating hazard to navigation or was the vessel skuttled or left adrift?

    • Anonymous says:

      Vessel is probably sitting on a dock somewhere here already. Be interesting to find out who got it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    These islands need this helicopter more than it need some of the totally ineffective patrol cops who seem to spend most of their time on their BlackBerry's, in their cruisers or trying hard not to deter or catch criminals. Fora start, they could actually sit up straight whilst driving so that they can see what's going on around them and demonstrate a little road safety at the same time. Perhaps if they stopped and talked to residents and business owners, (not just the pretty ones) they'd get a feel for the local community and work with it to deter crime and catch criminals.

    The helo is an important asset in the fight against crime and to ensure safety and security off shore. Compare the expense against lives saved alone and it becomes clear that it is worth its $1.7 million price tag.

    Now compare the hopelessness of using ineffective police officers in cruisers that are far to powerful for their limited driving skills and you get disaster. Firstly they prefer the a/c and comfort of their car so fail to interact, deter or enforce, then they are either texting or talking on their phones or driving way beyond their capibility and smashing up brand new vehicles at huge expense.

    How much will the write off of a Charger and the destruction of property in Bodden Town last night cost the police budget and exactly how many have been damaged and destroyed since they were deployed last year?

    Now that is what I call a waste of money Mr Baines, how about some action to retore public confidence in the RCIPS?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Helicopters are great tools no disputing that

  7. Anonymous says:

    Not so long ago, the Premier said "we simply cannot afford it".  In four days, ten lives potentially saved. What the Premier should have said is "We simply cannot afford NOT TO HAVE it".  Has he at any stage admitted whoever was advising him got it wrong, and thank god the UK blocked some of his stupid ideas

  8. Anonymous says:

    Well done to the RCIPS and the helicopter crew in spotting the vessel and potentially saving a further 9 lives.  The helo appears to be a truly multi-functional asset as police, coastguard and air ambulance.  And to think that Bush wanted to keep $5 million of his NBF and lose the helo to save $1.7.  Madness!

  9. Anonymous says:

    They’re trying hard to keep the rcip helicopter lol! What about the missing drugs that caused a man to walk free & the Cayman Brac plane crash Mr. Baines?


    • Anonymous says:

      I do hope the police and Immigration are careful around these cubans, I heard that some of them may have cholera