Update: 12:26pm, 13 Oct. – Coast Guard Commander Robert Scotland has said a body had been found at sea Wednesday morning, but added they are in the process of identifying if it was the Sri Lankan man reported missing Monday night.
Scotland, through an audio update, said a body was recovered from the ocean around 11:30am.
He said further updates will follow once the identity of the body has been confirmed.
Original story – The Cayman Islands Coast Guard resumed its search Wednesday morning for a missing Sri Lankan national who fell overboard from the Tortuga party boat on Monday night.
Coast Guard Commander Robert Scotland, in an audio message update on the search on Wednesday morning, said, since 6am, the Coast Guard – supported by members of the Royal Islands Police Service dive team, the Cayman Islands Fire Service, the Cayman Islands Port Authority, and other members of the community – resumed the search for the missing man.
He said Wednesday’s efforts will be different from Tuesday’s, as there will now be more swimmers in the water.
Those on the water Wednesday “will see us using more people in the water supported by vessels utilising what is known as an ‘extended line search’. The snorkelers will be checking the ocean floor to see if there are any items relating to the missing person, which can be recovered. These searches commenced at Starfish Point and have proceeded in a westward direction towards Governor’s Creek. They will then resume from Governor’s Creek sweeping towards Starfish Point,” Scotland said.
He said the line search technique being employed is “slow and methodical”.
“As such, we were asking persons using North Sound who are not involved in the search to exercise caution as there are swimmers and divers in the water,” he said.
The man’s identity has not been released. He was reported missing around 7:30pm Monday after falling overboard from the 16ft boat.
The Coast Guard, in a post on its official Facebook page, welcomed offers of assistance from the public in the search. It asked specifically for individuals whose vessels are equipped with a marine VHF radio or who have access to a marine VHF handheld radio.
This, the post said, is “preferred, as these devices make search coordination much easier and reduce the risk of accidents between persons assisting with the search”.
Efforts move towards search and recovery
Scotland, speaking with the media at the Coast Guard base in Newlands on Tuesday evening, said surface swimmers and divers would be enlisted in Wednesday’s efforts, as they transition from search and rescue to search and recovery efforts.
On Tuesday, Coast Guard vessels Typhoon and Mark Luke, as well as Coast Guard jet skis, aided by over 15 private vessels, were involved the search.
The police helicopter was also deployed to assist in the effort.
The search is being coordinated on VHF channel 24 and anyone joining the search is asked to contact the operation centre. The radio call sign for the operations centre is “Coast Guard Base,” the post added.
Members of the public who are willing to assist in Wednesday’s efforts are asked to contact the Coast Guard Operations & Rescue Co-ordinations Centre at 345-649-6722 to provide their contact details.