Police make helicopter rescue of tanker crew member

The police helicopter awaits on the deck of the Explorer Spirit tanker on Monday where it landed to evacuate an injured crew member. - Photo: RCIPS

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service executed a helicopter rescue Monday of a man injured on tanker. The 43-year-old man, an Explorer Spirit crew member, had fallen on board the ship, resulting in a fractured leg and head injuries requiring urgent medical assistance.

Police said the 911 Communications Centre received a call from a member of the public on Cayman Brac around 2:15 p.m. on Monday. The police helicopter crew deployed with an EMT paramedic aboard, and it determined that the ship was about 40 miles off the west coast of Grand Cayman en route to Aruba.

Raymond Scott, a volunteer maritime safety adviser based on Cayman Brac, helped facilitate the rescue by alerting the police to the coordinates of the ship. Mr. Scott, whose brother Captain Anderson Radley Scott is employed by the tanker’s owner Teekay Shipping, first alerted the police and kept in constant communication with the ship.

“I called 911 and made a request that a tanker was in the area of Grand Cayman with an injured crew member on board,” said Mr. Scott of his initial contact with the police. “At that time, we weren’t sure what kind of injury it was, but I had heard he was fallen. I told them he could have multiple injuries.

“At the time I had contact with the Explorer Spirit on my radio, the ship was approximately 125 miles from me. I made contact with the ship, I got all the information and 911 was on the line with me on one of the occasions when trying to confirm the latitude and longitude of the ship.”

The helicopter reached the Explorer Spirit around 5:21 p.m. Monday, and the patient was stabilized and airlifted to Owen Roberts International Airport. The patient, an Indian national, was taken to Cayman Islands Hospital and later transferred to Health City. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Mr. Scott said that the ship, a 790-foot-long tanker, had just made a shipment of crude oil to Mobile, Alabama. It was en route to Aruba in order to fill up another shipment of crude oil. Mr. Scott said he received a congratulatory email from Teekay Shipping thanking him for his efforts in the rescue.

“I’m doing this as a voluntary thing. I have no pay,” said Mr. Scott, who estimates he’s been part of 200 rescues over the years. “I’ve been trying to get paid for the last 20 years but nobody recognizes the great deeds I carry out at all hours of the night, being awake and helping to save lives at sea.”

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  1. This is what I mean exactly. I left a comment when you did the story of Mr. Raymond Scott. I got to know Raymond through a mutual friend from Grand Cayman, when we were visiting Cayman Brac. I asked then (which were many years ago) why the government doesn’t give him some kind of salary. He is monitoring his radio every day, just keeping an ear out and looking out for something like this that happened. He has a lot pride in himself and takes the monitoring of the ships radios serious. He is watching out for his country and anything that could happen. I think with all the monies in the Cayman Islands, the government could spare a couple thousand dollars a month for his services.