Fishermen missing 8+ days

| 22/09/2014

(CNS): Three West Bay men who left their homes to go fishing on Friday 12 September and were expected back the following Sunday have not returned, police said today but revealed that they received a missing persons report a week ago. Alton Eddie Philips, James Michael Ebanks (Aka Fat Patty) and Ray Kennedy Smith left their homes aboard a yellow 28 ft. canoe powered by one 85HP. They were scheduled to return home on 14 September but police received a report from one of the men’s family to say they had not returned. Although the men had said they would be fishing outside Cayman waters, police did not say if they had given a planned fishing location.

Police said that following the missing person report last Monday, the RCIPS hadalerted the US and Jamaican Coast Guards and had also notified the authorities in Honduras and Cuba and circulated photographs of the missing West Bay men.

Although they did not notify the media, and by extension the wider public, until today, Monday 22 September, a police spokesperson said that the Cayman Islands Port Authority had been informed and they, in turn, had notified marine interest transiting Cayman waters.

Anyone who may have information about the whereabouts of the three missing men are now asked to contact the Marine Commander Inspector Ian Yearwood at 949-7710.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Who says they are lost! They know we’re they are…

  2. Anonymous says:


    Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, A tale of a fateful ship

    That started from the tropic port aboard this tiny ship

    The Mate was a mighty sailing man.

    The skipper brave and sure…………………….




  3. Anonymous says:

    Whatever is happening, fishing has nothing to do with it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Just curious though, in what country in the world does police do border protection? 

    • Anonymous says:

      Who do you think should be responsible for border enforcement in Cayman? As far as I know, the Joint Marine Unit, Customs, RCIPS, Immigration and Port Authority are all responsible for some aspects of border enforcement in the Cayman Islands, as it is in every other jurisdiction. When we get ourselves a Coast Guard, they will join the mix. Then when we get a Navy, they too will join the mix. Unitl then, redirect your curiosity to something more in your line, like wondering why there are roads and cars, or birds and bees, etc.

  5. Bare Bunkie says:

    According to the "Fisherman's Daily" these guys were supposed to meet up with The Three Jamaicans whose travels were temporarily interrupted in Cayman Brac a few weeks ago! However! The lead reporter for the daily, "Mr. Herb Irie" did say that they were scheduled to meet up after fishing, at which time they would then head to Cuba where some local fish vendors  and some officials were waiting to relieve them of their catch. This says Mr. Irie is all he knows at present.

    But he did say! Since this has happened before, the likelihood is, they'll  be back in a few days unless the Cuban officials decided to entertain them for awhile!


  6. Anonymous says:

    Regardless if you think this is funny for whatever reason, or if you are suspicious to their reason for being out to sea; their family members were obviously worried about their well-being to have reported it to police. Taking this as a joke when someone's life may be in danger is never funny and some people could keep their silly comments to themselves.

    Think about the feelings of their familes during this difficult time. Gosh. Hoping for a safe return for all three men.

    (And this is from a complete stranger, don't have to be friends or family to care.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Bollocks to that.  It is funny isn't it then when these missing "fishermen" stories breakevery year all the "fisherman" concerned have their mugshots already at the RCIPS?

      • Anonymous says:

        Certainly not University class photos.

      • Anonymous says:

        Next time you eat fish in a local restaurant, remember that someone had to catch it. Some men do fish offshore for a few days and return with legitimate catch.

    • Anonymous says:

      True, but if my loved one would have gone missing before, I would also do anything and everything to keep them from going on these multiple day fishing trips! Families should know what their loved ones are up to, whether it is good or bad. The problem is that in Cayman, denial is rampant!

    • Anonymous says:

      If their family members truly cared about them they would file a report with police the day they left, with as much information as they had on their intended destination and plans.

    • UHUHUH says:

      I agree with your sentiments, but, if my memory serves me right, were not these men" at least two of them" lost on a previous trip some years ago. This begs the question! Why did they not make contact with their families to inform them that they have encountered some mechanical problems or some other emergency! Why did they not "if not" have at minimum some reliable form of communication equipment whereby they could have made contact with their families or the Port  Authority. The ocean is an extremely vast area and presents "even for large vessels" a difficult search for the coast-guard and others to locate, so based on these facts alone, I say this: The onus was on those three "gentlemen" to make sure they were properly prepared to make this journey.

      Hate to say it, but the one question that comes to mind is: Were they that stupid? Hopefully they will return for their families sakes! 

    • Anonymous says:

      Residents who intend to leave Cayman Islands Territorial Waters, enter International Waters and return (even, and especially fishermen) need to report to GT Port Customs & Immigration, wait for them to show up (can take an hour) and state their planned business (which should pass a basic plausibility test), and check out with their passport.  Doing this automatically files a plan and a creates a search pattern if you fail to return as scheduled.  When re-entering the national border, you aren't allowed to just speed to your home dock to hose off and clean or weigh your catch.  No.  You must report, salty and tired, to the GT Port and wait for the Customs & Immigration officer to be called and materialize.  They need to get on your boat and search it for contraband, stamp your legal re-entry in your passport, and clear you to go on.  Yes, it can take awhile, but this is the established legal procedure and anyone skipping it for convenience needs to be shaken awake.  The reality is that nobody is permitted to casually head out to Pedro, Mosquitos, or Pickle, or other international waters while skipping these critical steps.  Family need to also be aware that deviating from, or skipping legal procedure demonstrates illegal intent, which should result in incarceration.  Fishing Tournaments should be very strict about compliance with the legal coming and going border procedures.  Right now, most people just fuel up, chuckle, and do whatever they want, which is frankly absurd given our crime problem.  Until we as a nation take our national border security seriously, we will support a thriving drug, crime, and gang culture.  This attitude has to end, and it needs to be led consistantly going forward by RCIPS, Immigration Dept, and Customs, with steep fines and penalties for offenders. This news story highlights the need for a tightening response on border crossing procedures, and this discussion should be escalated the LA as a matter of national interest.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Marine Commander Yearwood should call up the manifests on the previous ill-fated fishing trips of April 2013 and August 2012 and gril those residents on what is really going on, question the  crew's relatives in prison (serving sentence on gun crimes) on where this voyage was likely destined in Jamaica, who is sending them on these errands, where the exchange is supposed to take place, what is the cargo, and who else is doing this.  Let's try not to be out-whitted a third time XXXX.  We need the RCIPS to aggressively shut down these services and start busting up the dark economy of these islands – otherwise the outlook is for more car-jackings, robberies, and violent crime; which frankly, the law-abiding public are fed up with.  Be smarter.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Got to be honest great mug shots! Mama I’m heading out to catch some square groopers again…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Missing again..hmm, not sure what they are fishing for.
    CNS I heard this morning they have been found, with an additional 2 person s on board, can you please confirm?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Here's another story from 2012 – gone for 2 weeks, and returned with 2 new passengers aboard.  Hard to imagine these guys are doing the Lord's work.

  11. Diogenes says:

    What a coincidence – all 3 photos have the same composition and background.  Did they pose in one of those photo booths before heading out? Or are they from a database the police maintains for "fishermen". 

  12. WHAT !!!!!! says:

    How many times they been fishing and not come back with one fish yet….Wonder what theywere fishing for this time????

  13. Anonymous says:

    Well fat patty this is one way to get people to remember you still around. Do this once a year, and chances are no one will forget yah.
    Fat patty – the bravest repeat drifter in the world!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Some people just can't learn, "Listen Ma Ma, I going fishing wit uncle James… going look some white grunts" LOL

    Same jokas from last year:

  15. Anonymous says:

    hopefully they are found safe , and before they go fishing again get whoever is sending them to buy a sattelite phone and make sure it has credit so they can call for help, poor guys making this dangerous trek for pennies.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Same crew as previous 'missing fishermen '.  Then they miraculously find themselves back to the Island not looking any worse for wear having supposedly been at sea for over a week.  You would think [they] would come up with a different story.  Do they think we are all stupid?  They will cry wolf once too often!

  17. Anonymousand says:

    I wonder if I should wear my heels or flats to work tomorrow.
    Decisions decisions….

  18. Anonymous says:

    How many times are the limited resources of marine patrols to be used on these guys? 

    I'm sure that both Phillips and Ebanks have gone "missing" at least two other times in recent history. "Fishing" outside Cayman waters for a week, in a canoe….yeah right! 

    Wonder just what they're fishing for?


  19. Anonymous says:

    If they'd make 'fishing' legal, we wouldn't have to these problems. 

  20. Anonymous says:

    Lol Fishing Trip  oh ok.

  21. Fred the Piemaker says:

    Again?  Really? 

  22. Anonymous says:

    Some people shouldn't be allowed to go "fish-nin".

  23. Anonymous says:

    I'm sure lot's of buyers will be patiently awaiting to receive their "catch of the day" from this fishing trip/expedition. 

  24. Anonymous says:

    And why are we just hearing about this now????

  25. Anonymous says:

    Didn't this Alton Phillips guy go missing for a while on a boat a couple years ago as well? I remember that story being fishy. If they are found again, (I hope they are) I doubt fishing is where they were. 

  26. Anonymous says:

    Oh well, here we go again!

  27. Tammy says:

    Nice shots.

  28. Anonymous says:

    This is so utterly ridiculous.  One (or more) of these persons (James Michael Ebanks) has been involved in similar scenarios on at least three former occasions.  When will they learn? Or perhaps they are on suicide missions? 

  29. Anonymous says:

    Ever notice that either right before or after they are found drugs wash up somewhere in our waters……

    Fish can swim and I am sure some swimming about in our waters…

    Last time they were missing, they were jailed in Jamaica for illegal landing…so call 876 for information

  30. Anonymous says:

    May God be with them and their love ones during this time. 

  31. dan says:

    Gone fishin again eh lol

  32. Anonymous says:

    CNS, check back on your news stories for 17th April 2013

  33. Anonymous says:

    A two day trip in a canoe to go fishing?  Pull the other one.