Saturday, May 25, 2024

Rescue Team locates and rescues missing girl at sea


On Thursday, June 6th, The Rickilee Response and Rescue Team (Triple R) along with local authorities managed to find and rescue a young girl that had gone missing at Secret Beach north of San Pedro Town. The young female tourist had gone kayaking with her father without a life jacket, and after losing her, the dad returned to Secret Beach looking for help. Pirates Secret Beach Bar and Blue Bayou personnel made calls to Triple R for assistance.
Around 7:15PM Triple R team received the call and the team began coordinating the search. Grid leaders were alerted to prepare for a search and standby. The Triple R Response team arrived at the scene by boat, along with Hol Chan Marine Reserve Rangers and immediately had the grid leaders get to Secret Beach. The Belize Coast Guard and San Pedro Police Department were also called to assist, and they coordinated canvassing the area with Hol Chan’s GPS.
The search saw approximately ten boats involved in a well-coordinated search. Around 8:15PM responders heard yelling from a dock, where the young female tourist was found safe and sound. The Triple R Response members state that with each response, they learn what they did right, where they can improve, how to utilize the equipment they have and what equipment they still need. The Triple R team continues to train and strives every day to be the best that they can be. “I personally could not be more excited and proud that the Triple R team, RRR EVAC, Hol Chan Rangers, Coast Guard, and San Pedro Police Department came together to execute this response. We are certainly bringing triumph from the tragedy for Rickilee,” said Traci Curtin from Triple R Response.
Triple R is a non-profit, quick response team that assists both island residents and visitors alike in emergencies. The group was formed in memory of American National Rickilee Mercer, who perished on the leeward coast of Ambergris Caye in March 2017. She went missing after heading out for a jet-ski adventure. She was found dead on March 1, 2017. Since the creation of Triple R, the emergency response team has become the main point of contact for road and water accidents. Triple R utilizes 15 plus volunteers and staff to complete this beach to bedside transfer with thanks to the Belizean team, Vanesa Parham, Billy Leslie, and Chris Alpuche. The organization is always looking for volunteers, donations, and help in growing within the community. To keep up with the good work Triple R is doing on Ambergris Caye, you can follow them on Facebook and Instagram, or visit their website at For any emergencies, Triple R can be reached any time by calling 627-1117. Island residents and tourists are asked to please wear a life jacket if they do not know how to swim, as this could help prevent a tragedy.

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