“Motor Vessel M Luke” will be patrolling Cayman’s waters on Thursday (15 November), after it was officially unveiled on Wednesday (14 November), in tribute to the police officer of the same name.
PC Mark Luke lost his battle with cancer in August this year and his former colleagues honoured him in a special ceremony on Wednesday.
The “Last Post” was played for a fallen colleague, fondly remembered.
Superintendent Brad Ebanks said: “If we could live like Mark, both professionally and personally, I think, not only in the Marine Unit, but in the whole organisation, in the entire Cayman Islands, it would be a better place.”
Mark Luke’s friends and family gathered at the Joint Marine base to mark the unveiling of the vessel, but also to share stories of his life and work and the man they remember as a true hero.
“He was certainly someone to take as a role model for many, many officers, many people,” Superintendent Ebanks recalled, adding: “he was admired, he will be missed dearly, he is missed dearly.”
“Within this unit, he is a hero,” he stated.
In the the ceremony, many recalled Mr. Luke rescuing a family from the waters at Pedro Castle, by jumping from the cliffs, with no regard for his own safety.
But his family remember a “humble hero” – a man who was prepared to help the people he helped to convict.
“We are very proud of Mark always,” Mr. Luke’s aunt, Annie Ebanks, said.
She explained: “so many things we have learned since his death: medals, commendations. He was so humble, he never bragged about them.”
Some comfort for those gathered, that although Mark the man is gone, his memory will be kept alive every time his eponymous vessel heads out to sea.
Superintendent Ebanks summed it up: “he was an awesome person. We are sorry we lost him.”
Senior Police Constable 185 Mark Luke joined the RCIPS in March 1990; he passed away on 29th August after several years battling cancer.