February 22, 2020

RCIPS: Police urge public to take personal safety seriously while out at sea

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lifeboatssurvivalFrom RCIPS

CAYMAN ISLANDS: Police responded to an incident this past holiday weekend which again highlights the need for members of the public to take their personal safety more seriously while boating.

Just before 8PM yesterday, 16 May, the 9-1-1 Communications Centre received a report of a 25-year-old man who had jumped into the water several times from a boat traveling in the vicinity of . It was indicated that the man had been “highly intoxicated”. After the fifth jump, the man had not returned to the boat and could not be found. The police vessel Tornado promptly responded from the , and 9-1-1 also informed the Port Authority of the situation, which alerted other boats in the area of a man in the water. Within an hour the Department of Environment as well as the Fire Department had also responded, and additional off-duty staff within the Marine Unit had also been mobilized.

Just before 10PM the missing man communicated via radio with emergency responders to inform that he had swum to a boat anchored offshore. Marine officers on board the Tornado located the boat and confirmed that the man was on board and unharmed.

In addition to this incident, police marine and helicopter crews also responded on Monday to a report of a paddle boarder in distress some distance from shore and a vessel with four adults and two children on board that had broken down near .

“What we need the public to realize,” said Chief Inspector Brad Ebanks, Head of Specialist Operations Units, “is that each emergency or search-and-rescue response, whether the incident turns out to be critical or not, requires a mobilization of personnel and expenditure of limited police and emergency resources.

The irresponsible behavior that prompted the response near Rum Point on Monday is something we see far too regularly,” he continued, “and it demonstrates the complete lack of consideration not only for one’s personal safety, but also for how personal actions affect the provision of emergency services to the community. There are simply not enough resources to address the self-created problems on the water at the same time as the genuine emergencies that are bound to happen.

The sea can be very unforgiving, and people need to be more responsible for their own safety when out at sea.”

END

IMAGE: d6.boatingmag.com

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