Police marine unit, helicopter locate missing boat

A boat delivers fuel to occupants of a vessel that had run out of fuel at sea. - Photo: RCIPS

The Joint Marine Unit and police helicopter launched a search Tuesday for a boat carrying four people, after family members lost contact with them.

According to police, the boat, which was travelling from Tampa, Florida, to Grand Cayman, ran out of fuel. It was located about 70 miles from Cayman.

Police received the report of the missing boaters shortly before 8am on Tuesday. At the time that contact was lost, the vessel had been located just outside of Cuba.

The US Coast Guard was also notified and its assistance was requested.

An emergency positioning beacon on the vessel was activated by those on board, and picked up by the US Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center in Miami, police said in a press release. With the assistance of the coordinates provided, the Cayman helicopter crew were able to locate the vessel.

“Contact was established and the vessel was found to be in good condition and the occupants in good health,” police said in a statement.

The vessel did not have enough fuel to return to Cayman.

The police helicopter flew back to Cayman and the boaters organised a private vessel to carry fuel to them. The helicopter crew then launched again in the afternoon and helped coordinate the locations of the two vessels, meeting them about 40 miles offshore for the fuel transfer.

The vessel arrived to Grand Cayman just after 9pm Tuesday night, monitored by the Joint Marine Unit.