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Joint statement from DSPC & RCIPS re 911 calls re missing persons at sea

Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC) and RCIPS Joint Statement regarding 9-1-1 Calls alleged to have been placed on 6 March 2016 by Certain Family Members of Persons Missing at Sea

Today certain relatives of the five persons missing at sea since the afternoon of Sunday, 6 March circulated images to the media of their personal mobile phones which reflect calls purportedly placed to the 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Centre during the evening of Sunday, 6 March. Per a statement released to the press by some family members (but not provided directly to the RCIPS or the DPSC) the family members alleged that a call was placed to 9-1-1 at 8:29PM on Sunday, 6 March, to advise that 5 persons had not returned from a boat trip. These relatives further allege that a separate call from a different family member and a different phone number was placed to 9-1-1 at 10:42PM on Sunday, 6
March regarding the same incident.

The RCIPS and the 9-1-1 Communications Centre maintain what has been stated previously, that the first notification received by the RCIPS or 9-1-1 on this incident was at 11:57PM on Sunday, 6 March, from a
parent of the minors on the boat.

A phone number was provided to the RCIPS and the DPSC last Friday of the family member who claims that a call was made from her phone at 8:29PM on Sunday, 6 March. This number was checked through the 9-1-1 call log systems, which determined definitively that no 9-1-1 calls were received from this
number anytime on Sunday, 6 March.

However, a call was received by 9-1-1 from this number the following morning, Monday, 7 March at

The substance of that call, which was recorded as are all 9-1-1 calls, was that the family member was calling to state that her relative went out on a boat “yesterday” and was asking for an update on the search and rescue operation. The transcript of the call, which will be made public, indicates that this was a not an initial emergency communication to report 5 missing persons, but indeed is a follow-up conversation requesting an update following the first 9-1-1 call about this incident that had already taken place, as stated previously, at 11:57PM on Sunday, 6 March. During the call, the 9-1-1 operator calls the George Town Police Station and speaks with the inspector on duty, who advises the operator that the same family members have already been informed and thoroughly updated that morning.

Further to the first alleged call that evening, another family member has stated to the press that a second call was placed to 9-1-1 at 10:42PM. Again a search has been conducted of 9-1-1 calls received that evening from numbers associated with this family member and a call from one of these numbers

has been found around 10:42PM for a period of approximately 40 seconds. The recording of this call, a transcript of which will be made public, indicates that it is what can be referred to as an “open line” – that is, there is no substantive conversation, but instead just an open recording of 40 seconds of ambient sound in the proximity of the telephone. Throughout that recording, different voices can be heard.

Further, the RCIPS has obtained information from the phone provider which indicates that the times reflected on the screen shots provided to the media do not coincide with the information the provider has about these calls. Specifically:

 4 calls are identified in this photo as:
o Inc from 9*****8 06/03/16 20:21 o Out to 9*****0 06/03/16 20:25 o Out to 911 06/03/16 20:29
o Out to ‘family member – name redacted’ 06/03/16 20:31

 These calls are actually identified as being 12 hours after the photo reflects, based upon provider toll data:

o Inc from 9*****8 07/03/16 08:20
o o Out to 9*****0
Out to 911 07/03/16 08:24
07/03/16 08:29
o Out to ‘family member – name redacted’ 07/03/16 08:32

The 9-1-1 Communications Centre has the critical duty to receive and respond to all emergency calls from the public. It is critical that public confidence in the Centre is not undermined by misrepresentations or manipulation of technical equipment.

The RCIPS categorically denies allegations that it has failed to respond or withheld information regarding this tragic incident. Any other allegations will be responded to in due course.


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