Man missing at sea

Police were yesterday searching for a missing fisherman whose boat capsized in rough seas on Wednesday night.

Ian Hugh Cummings, 36, was reported missing at sea on 10.10pm by his fishing partner who had swum to shore.

The two men had been fishing off Bodden Town in the Moon Bay area where Mr. Cummings lived.

The other man told police and medics that Mr. Cummings had started swimming to shore after the boat capsized. After a short time, he was forced to abandon the boat and made his way to shore but could not find Mr. Cummings.

A search of the area by Marine and Air Support Units and foot patrols was conducted but was called off at 2.45am Thursday because of worsening weather conditions, police said.

Rescue efforts were also apparently hampered when the helicopter involved in the operation ran low on fuel and had to return to refuel with Texaco, but was unable to get any fuel because no one answered the telephone.

The helicopter, which was in the air 25 minutes after the first call from emergency services was received, searched the area where the boat was capsized for more than two hours.

When it returned to land, no one at Texaco was contactable and the helicopter was unable to refuel until 5.30am. By then, it was more than eight hours after the emergency call had been received.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Kennett, who coordinated the search said, ‘The helicopter and jet skis were out for hours last night in an effort to try and find Ian. The search resumed at first light by sea, in the air and on land, but there’s no sight of him. We have recovered the boat.’

Mr. Kennett added: ‘I think there is little doubt that Ian has tragically drowned. I can’t see any other logical explanation. The currents are very strong and treacherous in this area. The search will be continuing throughout the day.’

Texaco, which operates under Chevron Caribbean, did not respond to questions by press time.