SUSPENDED: RBDF calls off search for missing fishermen after eight days

SUSPENDED: RBDF calls off search for missing fishermen after eight days

Patrol craft will continue to look out for vessel and men

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The search for three missing fishermen who never returned after leaving Potter’s Cay Dock over a week ago has been suspended, according to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF).

However, vessels on patrol around New Providence and its cays, and several other islands, will “all be on the lookout for the 12-foot dinghy.

Barry Cartwright, 57, one of the missing fishermen.

The families of the men were provided an update at HMBS Coral Harbour on Monday.

According to the defense force, Acting Captain of Coral Harbour Shawn Adderley briefed relatives of the men on the case history, search methods, the coordination between partnering agencies and the expansion of the search area, which covered over 100 square miles.

The search area extended from the Berry Islands to New Providence and its surrounding cays, to Eleuthera, Current Island, Spanish Wells and the northern Exuma Cays.

RBDF Search and Rescue Coordinator Commander William Sturrup said the search and rescue for the missing boaters had been suspended after eight days of “extensive coverage and unsuccessfully locating the vessel or its occupants”.

“Anyone having additional information or anyone coming across this vessel should contact the defense force’s operations center at 362-3814(5).

“The RBDF wishes to thank all of those who are involved and pledges its continued commitment to this matter.”

The boaters — Barry Cartwright, 57, a father of one, and two other men, known as Stephen and “Molar” — left Potter’s Cay last week Sunday on a 12-foot skiff to fish for a few hours around the northern coast of New Providence and were expected back the same day.

On Sunday, Cartwright’s brother Max Cartwright said the family remained hopeful the men will be found safely, although he acknowledged the time elapsed since they went missing and the unfavorable conditions last week diminish their chances.

But he said his brother is an experienced fisherman who has survived challenges at sea before.

When contacted yesterday, Cartwright said all the family can do is to continue to hold out hope that the men are found.

“It’s not in my hands; it’s in God’s hands,” he said after a brief pause.

Asked about his family’s next steps, including whether they would search privately, Cartwright explained they do not have the means of financing to do so.

About Royston Jones Jr.

Royston Jones Jr. is a senior digital reporter and occasional TV news anchor at Eyewitness News. Since joining Eyewitness News as a digital reporter in 2018, he has done both digital and broadcast reporting, notably providing the electoral analysis for Eyewitness News’ inaugural election night coverage, “Decision Now 2021”.