Cayman 27 has interviewed the man who says he saw a flare gun in the distance off North West Point. Michiel Bush says he called 911 at 7:06 p.m. Sunday (6 March) night. On Cayman 27 News Tuesday, police said they didn’t receive information from 911 pertaining to that area that night, but they did attend a false alarm at Star Fish Point. This, as the search continues for the missing five at sea.
Cayman 27 has seen the call log from Mr. Bush’s phone.
4:30 p.m. update – Statement from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service
Clarification: Police Helicopter’s Movements on 6 March, Sunday
In order to clarify comments made by the Head of the RCIPS Air Operations Unit during Tuesday night’s Cayman 27 newscast regarding the movement of the helicopter on Sunday evening and reports of flare reports received by 9-1-1, we would like to advise the following.
As stated during the interview, the police helicopter deployed to a report of a flare at Starfish Point, which came into the 9-1-1 Communications Centre at 18:28. JMU officers also deployed to the area and spoke with boaters who reported that they had seen two flares in that vicinity. The police helicopter assisted from the air while the incident was investigated to a conclusion.
While the police helicopter was near Governor’s Harbour assisting with this incident, another report came into the 9-1-1 Communications Centre at 19:09 regarding a flare seen off North West Point, which was relayed directly to the helicopter. The police helicopter left Governor’s Harbour to look into this report. The crew flew over NW Point and as far offshore as the weather permitted for them to investigate (a distance of 4 miles off shore was reached at 19:31). No subsequent flares were seen and no vessel was sighted during this check. In addition, thermal imagery from the helicopter did not pick up any indication of persons in the water.
Since this report was relayed directly to the helicopter crew during their deployment to another incident, the head of the Air Operations Unit, who appeared on Cayman 27 Tuesday night, referred to this flight over NW Point during the interview as a “welfare check” and was not aware at that time that the crew’s check of that area originated from a 9-1-1 report of a flare. The Head of the Unit was not on the flight that evening.