Police and the Cayman Islands Coast Guard have called off the search for a man who jumped overboard during a drug bust off the East End coast late last month.
The man was lost at sea on 24 Nov. and is now presumed dead, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service said in a statement late Wednesday evening.
During the incident, the police recovered 988 pounds of ganja, with an estimated value of $1 million, the RCIPS confirmed.
Police have appealed for the public’s assistance in locating and identifying the missing male who has been described as being tall, dark-skinned with long dreadlocks, wearing shorts, and believed to be known as ‘Blacks’ or ‘Paul’.
The police and Coast Guard had searched for seven days.
“Due to the elapsed time, and weather conditions with no positive leads or sightings the [Coast Guard] has made the strategic decision to conclude search and recovery efforts and unfortunately declare the missing male as presumed deceased as of 6:00 pm 1 Dec,” the statement said.
According to police, on 24 Nov. border patrol encountered what they termed a suspicious vessel approximately two nautical miles off the coast of East End.
When they approached the vessel, two men jumped overboard, taking packages with them. One of the men was rescued, while the other man could not be found.
The two other men in the vessel were detained and numerous packages containing ganja were seized. All three have since been charged with illegal landing and importation of ganja.
The men appeared in court on Friday, 27 Nov., and have been remanded in custody until 8 Dec.
Police said the Office of the Ombudsman continues to oversee the investigation into the missing person.
Anyone with information about the man or the incident is asked to contact the RCIPS Major Incident Room at 649-2930.