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Fishing boat rescued, again

A massive police search and rescue operation was launched after a fishing vessel went missing.

Teams from the RCIPS Marine and Air Operations Units, along with colleagues from the US Coast Guard desperately scoured the waters for missing fishing boat, the Renegade.

It’s the second time the boat has sparked such an operation in just over a year. In August 2010 it also vanished during a doomed fishing trip.

Then, it spent 10 days adrift after problems with the battery and was eventually located 50 miles northwest of Little Cayman.

Around 7am on Saturday morning, the wife of a crewman contacted police to say she had received a distress call from the boat’s onboard GPS device.

The 30-foot canoe-type boat had been converted to include a diesel engine and was carrying two men onboard when the engine failed.

After receiving GPS notification, the wife of the crewman raised the alarm and contacted police who launched the search and
rescue operation.

Around three hours after the call was made, the police helicopter located the Renegade around 56 nautical miles north of Cayman Brac.

A police spokeswoman said: “The helicopter crew made contact with the two men on board the vessel via radio. They are both well, but say they had been drifting since losing engine power.”

Extreme, bad weather conditions hampered the rescue operation and it took the Department of Environment’s vessel Enforcer 2, ten hours to bring the Renegade in to Cayman Brac

Acting Inspector Clive Smith of the RCIPS Joint Marine Unit, who co-ordinated the Search and Rescue operation, said;

“This was a great team effort which resulted in the Renegade and her crew being found quickly and brought back to dock safe
and well.

“Many people will recall that in August last year the Renegade was reported overdue and located several days later after a massive search operation.

“This time the vessel was fitted with a GPS emergency transmitter which was able to be monitored by emergency regional co-ordination centres – that’s why the police helicopter crew located her so quickly.

“The DoE crew of Erbin Tibbitts, his son E J Tibbitts and Sheldon Scott have done a wonderful job, in very difficult conditions, to get the boat and crew back safe and sound. We thank them for their outstanding work.”


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