Two tourists die at sea on Cayman Brac

| 19/01/2011

(CNS): In two separate incidents two visitors from the United States who were vacationing in Cayman Brac have died while snorkeling and diving within 24 hours of each other. In the first incident, at around 5pm on Monday a 68-year-old man was snorkelling in the harbour close to the Buccaneer’s Inn when he apparently lost consciousness, and in the second a 67-year-old man, also a tourist from the USA, was part of an organised tour on Tuesday when he lost consciousness while diving in around 8 feet of water near Charlie’s Reef.

In the first incident a member of staff from Paradise Tours took the snorkeller to shore and attempted to perform CPR. But he was pronounced dead at the scene. The second man, who was disabled, had been diving along with his wife with Reef Divers. He was brought to shore at around 3:40 and transferred to the Faith Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

Police said enquiries are ongoing in both incidents. However, there would appear to be no suspicious circumstances surrounding the deaths.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I am a friend of one of the man who died. From the person my friend was , who would take tango dance lessons, salsa lessons, would go to all dance parties , believe me , no one would hold him to do anything he loved to do.
    From the little understanding of life that I have , thats the way people who are special and enjoy life dies… doing what they love to do. The death is hard for us who are going to miss all the good times that a person like my dear George offered all the time he was having fun. I am very proud of him and whatever he is his soul is in peace. Just rest in peace my friend! I miss you a lot and it hurts ! Love Tereza

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am the daughter of the 67 year old man who died.  He was a Master Diver with hundreds of dives under his belt and had medical clearance to be diving.  There is no need to put age limits on divers, as his death had nothing whatsoever to do with his age OR his disability.  While his death is a tremendous tragedy to our family, he died doing exactly what he loved to do.  Perhaps less speculating would be prudent, since none of you were actually there, nor know any of the specifics.

  3. pmilburn says:

    My Sympathies to the two families involved.As to the dive accident Cayman is one of the safest dive destinations in the world.The problem with many of these visitors that dive they do not fill out the various forms honestly for fear of not being allowed to dive.So someone with a recent heart condition say goes diving and the apprehension can easily bring on a problem. They also fail to tell us that they are on some sort of medication which their Dr.back home says is ok to dive with.What most operators here do is a refresher BEFORE taking someone out especially if they have not been diving for over 18-24 months.It might vary with operations but that is the general rule that most follow.Another thing that we watch for is someone who is very obviously way over weight and this can also lead to problems on a dive or snorkle trip.Most operators will refuse to take someone out who is very much over weight.It might upset them but they will at least leave here alive and well.

             Again I would like to point out that we in the watersport industry and especially the dive operators Do pay close attention to these situations and I must say that everyone does a damn good job considering the amount of folks that pass through these shores and do not tell us the truth about recent surgeries or medications.My hat is off to all those hard working individuals that are helping to keep our tourism product as safe as humanly possible.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dive Medical Statements are required for any student diver.  If a diver answers "yes" to a medical problem, then a doctors clearence is required.  However, for a certified diver no medical statement is required.  Good practices would be for certified divers who have medical problems to check with their doctor to make sure they are safe to dive.  Thoughts go out to the families of both victims and to the staff at Reef Divers,  I’m sure you did everything you could. It’s never easy when these things happen, however keep doing what you do best!



  5. Anonymous says:

    When it’s your time, it is "the time", no matter what  or where you might be. You have to be ready at all times. May God comfort their families as only He can!

    • Just Commentin' says:

      Gee. Another believer in The Great Opium Den in The Sky. Such impersonal platitudes do little to offer comfort to a person suffering such a bitter loss.

      Even for a stalwart believer, faith becomes small and God seems distant. Unless and until God’s people put their arms around the bereaved, until someone holds their hand and shares their grief, until a person sits and cries with them, helps calm their fears, allays their loneliness and offers a sincere promise to provide for their emotional and physical needs, until a human being steps into the gap and is a true friend and consoler, there is little comfort for the ones who have experienced such loss. I know. And I know the worth of those beautiful souls who sincerely offer a heart of friendship and hands of comfort.

      It seems that the most stalwart lip-service, finely clothed, loud-praying, perfect-in-their-own-eyes believers are the most neglectful of the needs of fellow human beings. I am not saying that of you specifically, but of many in the church in general. Take heed you do not fall into this group because their brotherhood is legion in churches in these islands. "Whited sepulchers" Jesus calls them. "Worthless" is what I call them.

      Read your Bible with care. With faith and salvation comes more responsibility than the majority of church-goers will ever assume. Offering ourselves as a comforter and sustainer to the widow and the fatherless is one of the things that God tells us is the hallmark and responsibility of a true believer. Absent a real love that reaches out and fulfills needs, you are as a tinkling cymbal and a sounding brass – just a pretty sound, nothing more.

      The last thing a grieving person needs is another in an endless line of people who pat them on the back and say, "I am praying for you" just before those so-called Christians turn and walk away never to be heard from again.

      Surely there must be Christians on Cayman Brac, yet I have yet to see a comment here urging Christian brothers and sisters on the Brac to seek these bereaved people out and offer them real comfort rather than insipid platitudes. With over a dozen churches on Cayman Brac, I wonder how many Christians on the Brac touched one of the grieving family members and friends in a personal and meaningful way?

  6. TreeFourFiveLowe says:

    P.S. To CNS…….Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to informing the people of this country on what’s up!

    Love you guys!

  7. TreeFourFiveLowe says:

    Oh dear! Here we go again! Another elderly person bites the dust. Okay, so its a free country and persons can make their own choices whether to endanger their lives the second they step into the water or not. BUT….its clear to me that waaaaaaaaaay too many old folks are dying in our waters. No one would ever want to deprive them of their freedom to go into the water, but seriously, I think once they hit 55 they should require full on medicals done before they step foot in the water. 

    • Just Commentin' says:

      Tree! I gotta say, this society is wayyyyyy too concerned with saving people from themselves. As for me, I wanna die with my boots on, tanks on, skydiving helmet on, whatever is blowing my hair back when it is my time to depart to the great Internet Forum in the sky. Actually my ideal death would be from passionate overexertion, but maybe that is asking for too ideal a death.

      And I was just thinkin’. (Yeah I do that sometimes when I run out of hair to pull out over frustration resulting from reading some of the comments here.)  I am sure you might have a few bald spots from this activity too.

      Why stop at making the ocean off limits to those venerable wrinkly folks unless they get medical clearance? Since a far greater number of oldsters die on dry land, we should require a medical certificate for them to get out of bed! Might save some lives. But then a lot of ’em die in bed too.  What ya say? Make ’em sleep on the floor?

      Since so many seniors die in hospitals, we must make medical care facilities off limits to elderly people too.

      And God forbid we should continue to allow people over retirement age to have sex without a doctor’s permission!

      I think we got it covered now.

    • noname says:

      Sorry but it’s nothing to do with their age, it’s there fitness. Watch some of the people going diving at Brac Reef, boy they are so overweight they should not even be allowed in the water!!!.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I live on the Brac and have found it very strange that these incidents were not reported on earlier. I can understand not publishing the names or details of the individuals concerned but nothing for 36 hours on the first man who died in less than clear circumstances??? Deaths of tourists are news, and, as you so rightly replied to a comment regarding the less than complete reporting of the car crash on the Brac on Friday night, online news can be updated almost instantaneously, therefore you can publish things much more quickly and incompletely than the print news. Why wait 36 hours and then publish a simple, bare facts story that could have been published within hours of the incidents taking place? Pressure from above to not publicise tourist deaths or lazy reporting and editing??

    CNS: The article was posted 20 minutes after the official police report on these two incidences was disseminated. Prior to that we did not have any information other than the fact that two people had died and where we are reporting on deaths it is important get the details right. Marl Road gossip may have told you that one man died in "less than clear circumstances" but there was and is no reason for us to believe this was so, which is supported by the official news from the RCIPS. There was no pressure from anyone not to print this.

    • Just Commentin' says:

      Given the ‘instant news network" on Cayman Brac, I can understand a Bracker fretting about not getting a report on Brac news rapidly enough from CNS. The Brac has its own word-of-mouth news network and it is far quicker than any news medium could ever hope to be.

      Here is why I get impatient with CNS about getting Brac news out quickly: One of my Bracker friends calls me, did-ya-hear-about so-an-so or such-and-such? I call another Bracker friend to check it out. Nothing. So I check out CNS to see if it was true. If it is real news the Brac grapevine far surpasses any news service in getting out the initial report. Now Brackers, tell this ain’t the way it works?

      On the Brac, unless you live under a rock (which is quite possible on the Brac come to think of it)…er…unless you live in a cave…(nope, that’s possible too). **

      Oh hell, let’s try this again: On the Brac, unless you are deaf, dumb, and blind, ("hearing impaired, speech impaired and sight impaired" for the politically-correct morons reading this who would take exception to my non-PC nomenclature) with no people who like you well enough to share a tidbit of juicy "news", ("gossip-impaired" for you PC folks)  you would have heard about the incidents through the gossip pipeline long before Nicky and crew could have typed and posted a story on the CNS website. One Bracker told me they heard about one of the deaths before the deceased was officially pronounced dead. But Brackers often use CNS to confirm the veracity of the info they get over the gossip channel.

      Live on the Brac? You got a phone? Got any friends at all? Then you know you get all the juicy Brac news long before reading it here.

      The problem is that a fair number Brackers fail to distinguish real official news from hearsay. CNS, "bare facts story", CNN, BBC, gossip – on the Brac one is just as credible as the other. Maybe not as reliable –  but who want’s the truth anyway? The truth is nowhere near as juicy.

      Now…did you hear about how that boy who was driving that car, how he got…??


      **Lest I get flamed about the rock and cave thing – it was humour. OK? But based on truth. I wasn’t putting down Cayman Brackers. There are several houses situated under overhanging rock outcroppings of the Bluff. And lots of people lived – albeit temporarily – in caves during times of hurricanes. So it is possible to have such dwelling arrangements. That being said, I would rather live in a cave on Cayman Brac than a luxury condo on Grand Cayman. OK, so now I am gonna get flamed by bat-lovers. Bring it on.

  9. Anonymous says:

     I think it’s time we put an age limit on divers. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Is there a medical certificate outlining any heart conditions that must be shown before a dive?

      • Paradise Lost says:

        No.  Prayers go out to all involved, from the families to the staff at Reef Divers.  I am sure this has been hard on everyone.  God Speed to all.   

      • The Original Anon says:

        There is a waiver signed by the diver that no such conditions exist.

    • noname says:

      Why in the Cayman Islands is "Bigger Government" or more "Regulations" always the answer?  People die…it is sad but punishing others with restrictions should never be the answer.  I had a Grandfather who choked to death on steak while dining out…should we stop serving 60+ food?  Please just live and let live, there will always be accidents!