(CMR) A search for three men who fell overboard a capsized vessel that was transporting over 900 pounds of ganja to the Cayman Islands is now a search and recovery mission, the police have said.
Over this past weekend, 23 – 24 April, the Cayman Islands Coast Guard and RCIPS resumed search efforts for three men who were reported to have fallen overboard from the vessel in the North Sound on Friday, 22 April, without success.
During searches on Sunday, 24 April, life vests and other items were recovered from mangroves in the vicinity of Uncle Bob Road, West Bay. However, these have been determined not to be related to the missing men.
As of this morning, 25 April, CICG and RCIPS search operations have transitioned from search and rescue to search and recovery.
“Due to the sea conditions and the time elapsed since they first entered the water, it is unlikely that the men will be found alive; however, we remain hopeful,” said Commander Robert Scotland of the CICG.
It has been determined that the packages recovered from the water on Friday contain a quantity of ganja, with a total weight (including packaging) of approximately 945lbs.
The man, age 35 of Jamaica, who was recovered from the water on Friday, has been released from hospital. He has since been arrested and has been formally charged with Illegal Landing and Importation of Ganja, and appears in court today, 25 April.
The recovered packages are being forensically processed and will subsequently be scheduled for destruction.