Men sentenced for illegal boat landing

Jamaican nationals Patrick Lee Hamilton and Bernard Keith Hoilett pleaded guilty 6 March in Cayman Islands Summary Court to illegally landing their boat in Grand Cayman.

In explaining their position, the men’s attorney said they left Jamaica to buy fish from “the banks”. However, after their boat was damaged by the reef, the vessel began taking on water. The counsel said the simple trip then became a matter of life and death. Not knowing where their exact location was, he said the men began bailing out the water.

Upon arriving in Grand Cayman, the men sought help from a man at the On the Run gas station in the vicinity of Selkirk Drive in Red Bay, who alerted police to their presence. They were arrested and the boat they had travelled to Grand Cayman in was 
seized by authorities.

Before sentencing the men, Chief Magistrate Nova Hall asked them both if they had anything to say, at which time one of the men then told the chief magistrate that he wanted the court to know that he and his mate had not been “spotted” but were instead seeking assistance and not trying to conceal their presence.

In sentencing the men, the chief magistrate said she was taking into account their guilty pleas and the circumstances surrounding their landing.

The men were then sentenced to a term of 24 days in prison, which amounted to time served, as they had been remanded since their arrests.

The men’s boat was forfeited to the Crown and no deportation order was made. However, the Department of Immigration gave an undertaking to repatriate the men.


  1. Fishermen do go through some rough time out there, many of our countrymen were lucky to be rescued.. It go to reason though that their first point of contact should have been the authorities..

    This story also points to how porous our borders are, that persons can come out of international waters, penetrate deep within the territory undetected and unchallenged..

    I hope that new radar site can multi task.

  2. Not everything has to be a conspiracy theory, but for God’s sake people, you have to ask questions when things don’t add up.

    1. Fishermen who went out to buy fish instead of catching fish? I suppose it makes sense if you have no fishing gear on board then you need an explanation for fishing without fishing gear.

    2. Does anyone have any idea how long it takes for a boat to drift from the south coast of Jamaica to Cayman? Long enough for them to die from dehydration or starvation would be my guess.

    3. Did anyone in Cayman contact the authorities in Jamaica to see if these men were previously involved in the fishing industry, either wholesale or retail? My guess is yes, and the answer was NO.

    4. So what do you do when you have a drug boat and no evidence of drugs? Charge them with the only crime possible, which was illegal entry, and take their boat.

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