Unprepared boaters rescued by police

A private watercraft rescued three men who were stranded offshore early Sunday in a small boat without life jackets.

According to police, the initial report of a 14-foot boat in distress between one and two miles off East End was received around 1:45 a.m. Police said the craft’s engine stalled and the three men aboard could not paddle ashore due to the wind and waves.

The boaters were seen signaling to shore by Royal Cayman Islands Police Service patrol officers, and a passing resident offered to assist police by launching a private boat to rescue the men. The marine unit craft Typhoon arrived on scene, but by then the private boat had picked up the men from the distressed craft.

The three were brought back to shore unhurt around 3:45 a.m.

“This is a troubling incident which could have ended tragically had it not been for the brave response of local fishermen,” said RCIPS Inspector Leo Anglin. “Launching a boat in rough weather, in the dark and with no life jackets, is tantamount to taking your life in your hands.”


  1. Well done whoever rescued them and the police. Very pleased no loss of life or harm to them.

    Of course they should have had life jackets. But if the boat had drifted off to sea the life jackets realistically wouldn’t have done them a lot of good.

    I assume they intended to do some night fishing. Next time guys please take a cell phone and for added safety a handheld marine radio.

  2. Again I would say that the time has come that Government need to get very serious about owning a boat in Cayman Islands . Not because you can buy a boat , that you should be alowed to take that boat out in the ocean without seamanship experience and knowledge of the waters .
    I think that Cayman Islands has lost it’s great traditional seamanship reputation it once had , is why we are seeing these kind of incidents .

    I think that every boat owner should have to past a test of seamanship /boat handling , and all boats to be licensed and inspected by the Marine Enforcement for all the above mentioned , then we would have less of these tragic things happening .

    I am very happy to know that everyone is safe and no lost of life in this incident .

    • Ron

      Sounds to me that these were fairly experienced boat owners who were just a bit over confident and careless.

      While I appreciate your sentiments and desire to save lives I think it would just add more expense and bureaucracy without really achieving a lot. How would the boats be inspected? Would they need to be taken on trailers to some facility or would the inspector come to the boat?

      And no matter how many laws are passed enforcing them is a different matter.

      What might be a good idea is random checks for safety equipment such as are performed by the marine police in Florida.

  3. Mr. Linton,

    When I see one going out on a small boat without life jackets in the ocean , it doesn’t say much for your experience / seamanship or responsibility or knowledge . This is where I think that we are loosing our traditional seamanship reputation , and the need for Government to make sure that boat ownership is not just buy a boat and go out in the ocean and cause tragedy and problems for the Marine Enforcement .

    Licensing and inspection can be done from one central location in two categories pleasure / charter boats.
    Inspection when good Laws are put in place , it should make inspection easier, private boat ownership all you do is answer all the necessary questions safety equipment truthfully , then when Law Enforcement stops you and you don’t have life jackets on-board , you then would have two fines to pay , one for lying on legal documents and one for not having .
    Charter boats a visual inspection and certified Captain license should be required , because you are in charge of many lives.

    Don’t worry about the bureaucracy because if it saves one life it’s well worth it . Today I think that water/ boat users should be treated as the same as road users . On the Island we just can’t buy a car and go out on the road and drive it without having it inspected , and drivers license and other requirements .

    • Ron

      When I go out with my wife on MY small boat:

      1. We only go out when the weather is calm
      2. During daylight hours
      3. Never venture out of the North Sound
      4. Carry full life saving gear, including life jackets, throw ring, flares, cell phone is water proof pack etc.
      5. Anchor

      Random checks for safety gear would be a good idea.

      I know you mean well. But none of what you have suggested will stop people going out in small boats at night in rough weather without safety gear. That’s just a lack of common sense.

  4. Mr . Linton,

    I know you are one of the few people who much respect and have knowledge of the waters/ boating , but I am not referring to people like you that have common sense responsibility and knowledge of boating . I think me and you and many more people should just be able to comply with reasonable regulations Government would set for safe boating in the Cayman Islands

    I think that it’s the kind you referred to in the last sentence of your comment that we should be trying to help so that we don’t have any more traffic deaths .

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