Search for missing snorkeler launched

Police divers were searching the waters off East End on Thursday afternoon after a snorkeler was reported missing.

The 47-year-old man, a tourist visiting from Massachusetts, was snorkeling with his wife off the Reef Resort in East End, just after 11 a.m., when the pair became separated. The woman swam back to shore and raised the alarm.

Local dive boats and Waverunners, as well as Cayman Islands Helicopters, assisted in the search but the man had not been found by late afternoon.

Police spokesman Superintendent Adrian Seales said the couple had been snorkeling by themselves around 250 yards off shore.

He said three Department of Environment boats and two Marine Police boats, along with police scuba divers, were involved in the search.

The police helicopter is currently out of action but Cayman Islands Helicopters, which typically offers scenic tours to visitors, provided aerial support to the search.

Pilot Jerome Begot said he had canceled tours to assist, but was unable to locate the missing man.

Kel Thompson, owner of the Reef Resort, confirmed there had been a report of a guest missing and said resort staff were doing everything possible to assist.

The Police Marine Unit will be resuming searches for the missing
snorkler in East End on Friday morning and has issued an appeal for volunteer divers to assist in the search.

Inspector Ian Yearwood, the
officer in charge of the search, is asking for any volunteer divers to report to
the dive shop at Morritt’s Tortuga at 9 a.m.. Volunteers are asked to bring their own
dive and snorkel equipment if possible. Dive tanks will be supplied.

For more information, contact Inspector Yearwood on 526-3159.


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