(CMR) Two Jamaican fishermen were rescued South of Grand Cayman after being stranded at sea for two weeks. The CICG said the two males who were on a 34ft fishing vessel called Blue Stars were rescued through the coordinated efforts of Motor Vessel Ardmore Enterprise and the Cayman Islands Coast Guard (CICG) Operations Rescue and Coordination’s Center (ORCC).
On Thursday, July 29, the Cayman Islands Coast Guard was notified by the Jamaica Defense Force Coast Guard (JDF-CG) of a vessel in distress West of Grand Cayman, with two souls on board. The vessel was described as being approximately 34ft in length with a white hull.
Over the next week, the Cayman Islands Coast Guard said it deployed a series of Search and Rescue (SAR) missions while coordinating with both the JDF and the United States Coast Guard, District 7, in an attempt to locate the vessel in distress. Notwithstanding the concerted efforts of the agencies involved, the vessel was not located.
Over the course of the week, the ORCC maintained constant communication with merchant vessels traversing the area, asking them to be on the lookout for the vessel in distress. On August 5, 2021, an oil tanker passing about 110 miles West of Grand Cayman reported seeing a vessel in distress fitting the description of Blue Stars.
Having been notified of the sighting, the ORCC contacted the oil tanker, Ardmore Enterprise, and requested their assistance in rescuing the crew of the vessel. At around 3 pm the captain of the ship notified ORCC that they were alongside the stricken vessel and providing assistance. They advised that they would transport the two men to Grand Cayman as it was the nearest port to them.
Customs and Border Control (CBC) were informed, and arrangements were made to safely land the crew of Blue Stars observing all COVID 19 protocols. On Friday, August 6 at about 3 am the two males were taken from the Ardmore Enterprise by Coast Guard Vessel, Niven D, and transported to George Town dock. They were met by EMT from CI Health Service Authority persons from Travel Time Cayman and Customs and Border Control.
Following an assessment by HSA personnel, the two men were taken to an isolation facility. Both men appeared to be in relatively good health and spirits. The Jamaica consulate has been contacted and is making arrangements for their welfare needs pending their return to Jamaica.
“On behalf of the Cayman Islands Coast Guard and the team that assisted in this rescue, I would like the thank the captain and crew aboard the oil tanker for their assistance in saving these two missing men,” Says Commander Robert Scotland, “This was just one example of the importance and effectiveness of the Operation Rescue and Coordination Centre.”