With high winds and rough seas hampering a volunteer-assisted search effort, police remained hopeful Tuesday morning that five boaters, missing since Sunday, may still be found.
The marine police boat, the Cayman Guardian, joined by 40-foot sailing boat the Maria, were out on the water by 7 a.m. Tuesday to resume the search. They will be aided by a US Coastguard C-130 aircraft.
Police Marine Unit Inspector Leo Anglin said a couple of other boats had indicated they would join the search later in the morning.
Inspector Anglin said anyone wishing to join the search should contact him on 649-7710.
He warned that the weather was rough and police are looking for large boats, preferably in excess of 50 feet, with experienced crews.
“The conditions have increased and it is going to get worse as the day goes on. The last thing we want to do is put someone out there in a boat that is not suitable,” Inspector Anglin said, adding that 25 mph winds and high seas were expected.
Despite the conditions and the fact that the boat, missing since Sunday was found capsized 20 miles off shore Monday morning, he said police remained hopeful.
“We are still hoping for the best. We are putting our best foot forward and we have the assistance of the US Coastguard.”
The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Joint Marine Unit is asking for volunteers to join in Tuesday’s search and rescue operation for the missing 28-feet Panga boat with three adults and two children on board.
The boat was last seen around 3 p.m. Sunday.
The RCIPS appealed Monday evening for experienced boaters with vessels of 50 feet or more in length to join the operations on Tuesday morning, beginning around 8 a.m. Also joining in the search and rescue operation is a U.S. Coast Guard C-130 plane.
“As seas are expected to be rough tomorrow as they are today, we are again asking for experienced boaters only,” police said in a statement. According to the weather forecast, wave heights of 5 to 7 feet are expected and a small craft warning will be in effect.
Anyone who is able to join Tuesday’s operation is asked to call the Joint Marine Unit at 649-7710 and leave their details with officers. Police said volunteers would be contacted at 7 a.m. with further instructions