Three boats got into difficulty – one ran out of fuel, one was sinking and one capsized.
However, the combined efforts of the Marine Unit, the search and rescue helicopter and a member of the public ensured that all of the occupants of the boats were brought back to shore safe and well.
In the first incident – about 4.15 p.m. on 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.
A 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 its occupants to safety. No-one was injured.
About 6.00 a.m. on New Year’s Day 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 9.00 p.m. – 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 and all of the occupants were able to return to their families and celebrate the remainder of New Years day.