Searches to continue today

Another long day of searching Cayman’s North Sound for any trace of five missing boaters yielded few results as the odds of finding anyone alive grew longer.

Royal Cayman Islands Police Chief Inspector Courtney Myles said a number of items were found in the North Sound by police and volunteer searchers Tuesday, including three life vests and a bag which contained a jacket.

There was no way of knowing whether any of the items had belonged to the missing boaters.

Mr. Myles said searches would cease for the moment at nightfall on Tuesday, but that police and volunteer crews would be out again Wednesday to search both inside and outside the North Sound.

The five boaters – who had gone on an all-day fishing trip Sunday – left Newlands dock around 7.00 am in a 26-foot canoe. When they failed to return home by 10.15 pm their families contacted the police.

Extensive searches were undertaken on land, sea and in the air. Police used the Cayman Islands Helicopters aircraft, which was manned by experienced police spotters.

The RCIPS called upon the services of aircraft operators on the Islands to assist. The Mosquito Control Unit aircraft joined the search as well as a fixed wing plane from Ritz-Carlton and a helicopter from a private yacht which is berthed close to South Sound dock.

A number of private boat operators also joined the search and combed specific areas under the direction of the RCIPS.

In addition to the air and marine searches, police officers – including dog handlers – searched the shoreline and divers were deployed near the North Sound reef wall.

Despite the efforts, police commanders did not sound optimistic nearly 60 hours after the five boaters disappeared.

‘With each day that passes we have to accept that the likelihood of finding the five missing people alive reduces,’ Mr. Myles said. ‘We will continue with extensive searches on land, air and sea in an effort to trace them or their property.’

‘A number of local boat owners have joined the search. While we are extremely grateful for their assistance we would ask that they liaise directly with us to ensure that we make best use of the resources available.’

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