The search for a missing man at sea off the western coast of Ambergris Caye ended when he was located safe and sound. The incident occurred on Saturday, February 27th, with Rickilee Response and Rescue or Triple R Rescue team leading the search.
According to a preliminary report, a U. S. National, William James Hespe Jr., who owns property north of Secret Beach, was seen leaving on a paddleboard around 8:30AM. Hespe was supposed to meet with tour guides at an area known as Bracelets Lagoon between 9:30-10AM but failed to show up. After attempts to locate him were unsuccessful, they contacted Triple R.
Philip ‘Billy’ Leslie, head of Triple R, was contacted around 3:54PM. Leslie immediately recognized the urgency with the remaining daylight. Triple R quickly deployed their newly acquired jet skis and two boats to Secret Beach, where a strategy was set, and the search began. After not locating him on the first sweep, it was agreed that air search was necessary. The services of Astrum helicopters were unavailable, and although not operating at the time, Tropic Air responded to the emergency. Sometime later, they spotted Hespe by the aircraft, and his location was given for pick up. According to rescuers, Hespe had drifted over ten miles and was dehydrated. After further checks, he was deemed to be in good condition. The collective efforts of all paid off and Triple R said it continues to educate, empower, and enhance effective and efficient emergency response.Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun
Yesterday was a true testament for our motto, Triumph from Tragedy! Around 4pm RRR received a call of a person missing on a paddle board north of Secret Beach near Caye Francis. Triple R leader, Billy Leslie immediately recognized the urgency with the limited remaining daylight. Together with Vanessa Parham he organized an interagency collaboration consisting of the RRR, NEMO and Police with Coast Guard on standby by. RRR quickly deployed their newly acquired jet skis and 2 boats to secret beach where the strategy was set and search began. After not locating him on the first sweep it was agreed that air search was necessary. With Astrium busy RRR turned to Tropic Air. Although closed RRR was able to get them in the air searching expeditiously. The gentlemen was located by air and the boats were given his location for pick up. It’s noteworthy that he had drifted over 10 miles. He was dehydrated but otherwise in great condition and extremely thankful.
Today marks the 4th anniversary of the death of Rickilee and we will be remembering her today at Secret Beach as well as celebrating the start of Rickilee Response and Rescue (RRR) and a true Triumph from Tragedy story!
A special thank you to the RRR team Phillip Leslie Vanessa Parham, Michael Cain, Eddie Arcona, Elito Arceo, Robert Bradley, Tropic Air, Police and all the RRR team members who were on standby ready to help. This is the outcome we all strived for when we began RRR, much different than 4 years ago.Rickilee Response & Rescue