The canoe is believed to have left Grand Cayman on Sunday 19 August, heading for Jamaica. The purpose of the trip has not yet been established.
Three West Bay men – James Michael Ebanks, Sidney Henry Ebanks and William Miguel Bush – were onboard the canoe when it left Grand Cayman. It has been suggested that two Jamaican nationals may also have been onboard, but that has not yet been confirmed.
On Thursday 23 August, when the men had not returned to Grand Cayman, family members raised the alarm and reported the matter to police.
On receipt of the report the RCIPS made contact with the US Coastguard, Jamaican authorities and informed passing vessels to be on the lookout for the canoe. An extensive sea and air search was immediately mounted utilising the RCIPS air and marine assets. The search pattern extended from Cayman Brac towards Jamaica. It has been established that a canoe was sighted late on Wednesday evening (22 August) approximately 17 miles south of Cayman Brac. The sighting was reported by the crew of a passing cargo ship. It has not been established if this sighting was of the missing canoe.
The air and sea search was suspended over the weekend due to worsening weather conditions. The air search resumed this (Monday) morning.