Missing boat found, passengers alive

A local fishing boat that has been missing since Friday night was found about 50 miles south of Grand Cayman just before noon Saturday. 

Three men on board the vessel are alive and well, according to reports from the US Coast Guard and local police. The vessel and its crew were returned to George Town harbour late Saturday night, police said.

At about 11.35am Saturday, the Coast Guard confirmed having sighted the ‘Miss Ester’ watercraft some 49 miles due south of Bodden Town.

A nearby cargo vessel, the African Lion, and a cruise ship tender boat ‘Caribbean Temptress’ rendered assistance in the rescue, according to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service. 

The RCIPS has been coordinating search and rescue operations for the fishing boat, which was reported missing Friday evening.

At about 530pm Friday, the owner of the fishing boat Miss Ester received a call from his crew to say they had developed engine trouble and had broken down approximately 22 miles southwest of Grand Cayman. Radio contact was then lost.

The vessel owner contacted both the police and Cayman  Islands Helicopters who carried out a search of the area. The search continued into the early hours of Saturday with no sightings of the boat. Other vessels in the area were alerted and the US Coast Guard was made aware of the search.

A US Coast Guard fixed wing aircraft joined the search Saturday morning and spotted the craft just before noon.