Cayman 27 – ARCHIVE

RCIPS divers reflect on search for Linvol Smith

54-year-old Linvol Smith has been missing for two weekends, and police say they are continuing their search for the Cayman Brac resident.

He was last seen two Fridays (18 May) ago when he told a friend that he was going snorkeling or swimming. He was reported missing when he did not come into work the next day. The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service deployed its newly-formed dive team to search for Mr. Smith.

Detective Superintendent, Pete Lansdown, who is part of that team says they learned a lot from their experience on the Brac water search.

The new police search and rescue dive team got their first real-life test two weeks ago looking for Mr. Smith, and Mr. Lansdown said it was a challenging experience.

“The weather was challenging, we turned out within an hour of being cold, got to the Brac, we had tremendous support from the local commercial dive community and the public over there,” said Mr. Lansdown.

He said he and his colleagues shared a commitment to make a difference and volunteered to search for Mister Smith and be on the dive team.

“It’s in the police psyche that we’re there to help the public and myself and my colleagues, the divers, have all joined together and volunteered to form this essential team,” said Mr. Lansdown.

He said they are on a learning curve and the team had to duplicate some of the search areas to make sure Mister Smith was not around. He said they learned a lot of lessons.

“What I learned from it, is that we need to coordinate that community response a little bit better, rather than people turn up as it suits them, we need to coordinate and plan their deployment to assist us so that we can cover as much ground,” said Mr. Lansdown.

Mr. Lansdown said the team is working really hard to find some closure for the family and even though the underwater search is done, he still remains hopeful.

“Marine boats, the fire service, customs, DOE are still searching on the surface, the helicopter has been around doing beach searches and searching out to sea, so there is still the opportunity that we might find Linvol,” said Mr. Lansdown.

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