Teenage cruise tourist critical after jet-ski smash

| 25/11/2011

(CNS): A 16-year-old girl who was visiting the Cayman Islands from New York is expected to be airlifted to a hospital in Florida today after sustaining critical injuries during on ocean collision on Thursday afternoon, police have confirmed. The teen was riding an inflatable banana boat near the Seven Mile Public Beach yesterday when it was hit by a jet-ski at around 12:45pm. An RCIPS spokesperson said that the jet-ski was being ridden by a 17-year-old boy when it collided with a yellow banana shaped inflatable that was being towed by a power boat. The teenager was riding on the ‘banana’ with a 24-year-old woman and they were both thrown from the inflatable when they were hit by the jet-ski. All three people involved were cruise ship passengers, the police spokesperson added.

The women were taken to the Cayman Islands hospital in George Town in the wake of the incident for treatment and the 24-year-old was released soon after but the teenager is now in a critical condition and arrangements are being made to send her to the United States for treatment.

Police enquiries into how the collision occurred are on-going and anyone with information is asked to contact George Town Police station on 949 4222

Category: Local News

Comments (35)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hey i think people ride waverunners for fun such as people snorkel and swim for fun….. stuff happen and you cant penalise the whole of caymans jet ski's riders becuase of some little insident.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I hate jet skis.  Can't remember how many times I've had them come straight at me while snorkelling and had to wave my arms like mad to let them know I was there.  I understand the tour operators make money off them, but they really should be restricted to an area well away from everybody else.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are restricted to certain areas and are given a verbal talk prior to getting on them as well as signing a waiver explaining the deisgnated areas and laws.

      The problem is that cruise ship toruists or tourists for that matter think they can go and do whatever they want because they paid to use the machine.

      The person who crashed into the banana boat should be held libale for all damages as he would have bee instructed to keep 200yds away from all boats prior to getting on the waverunner.

  3. Trusting God alone says:

    Let's stop the blame game!!!  There is a young lady and her family who are in need of a miracle right now!  We should all be lifting her/them up in prayer, but for the mercies of God it could have been one of us!  Come on Cayman!



  4. Anonymous says:

    The only thing that surprises me is there are not MORE of these types of scenarios.  I see jet skis operating well within the 200 yard limit going as fast as the jet ski can go instead of 5mph.  I see them using snorkelers as race bouys simply because they may have had to swim outside the 200 yard imaginary boundary to get to the reef.  The Port Authority should be held accountable to put marker bouys in the most vulnerable of places where visitors and locals alike can actually see what their limits are for operating PWC and/or snorkeling.  When storms take them away, replace them.  The entire 7-Mile Beach from NW Point to GT, Rum Point and Kaibo are the most dangerous places to snorkel or swim in Cayman because of Jet ski operators and I would say more people come here to swim and snorkel than to ride jet skis.  The boundaries need to be extended out past the reefs that the people come here to see for one and a stiff penalties including forfieture of the craft should be imposed.  I pray for this young girls full recovery and that the powers that be will act swiftly to start putting bouys outside the reefs and snorkeling areas to protect divers and snorkelers from this hazzard.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Eventually we will ban everything that causes harm when something goes wrong, we will all live inside rubber padded protective devices, we will not physically leave…… oh wait thats the matrix all over again. There is a reason the word accident was invented. An unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury. 

    Everytime someone gets hurt we have all the negative people out in their droves wanting to ban stuff, especially if it's stuff they don't personally enjoy or understand.

    I went to a certain bar last night, I found the crowd was not what I wanted to be having a drink alongside, I left. I didn't call the owner whom I know very well and complain saying that crowd should be banned, I simply moved on, I am sure I will go back on a different night and find the crowd I like socializing with, if not, I simply stop going there, but I don't feel it correct that I get a crowd banned because I don't enjoy their company or understand the way they party.

    Do we need better control of PWC use in Cayman, yes, just like the rest of the world, these accidents will happen, however sad the final outcome of this particular incident i believe that simply banning wholesale the entire industry would be a loss.

    Of note is that fact that every few weeks we get notice of a diver that has had an unfortunate incident, or persons driving rental cars in accidents, but not many people are calling for those things to be banned.

  6. Anonymous says:

    A majority of these posts are somewhat too assuming, – you need to remind yourselves that ultimately we don't really know anything. . . Running a commercial boat I've been hit twice by jet skis whilst not in motion, – That's hardly the fault of the tour operator. . . accidents will happen, and whilst unfortunate that's the nature of the human species – it is our responsibility to to help those affected as best we can without insult or blame to satisfy our need for compensation.  

    • Anon says:

      If the customers arent listening to the pep talk about our local laws then they need a member of their staff out there policing the customers activities.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sadly, this is getting like the Bahamas.

    Check out –




    More than three years ago I was on the Valhalla as jet skiers were coming within 10 yards of the boat despite the fact it was clear that there were snorkelers, including myself, in the water. Later the same day I saw jet skis being driven by staff members (not tourists) from one of the watersports companies through the swimming areas up by Calico Jack's as they shut down for the day.

    It's like Stingray City – token regulation mostly ignored because, 'money talks'.

    What happens next is the cruise line gets sued and they may just then decide that Cayman is another destination they can live without.

    • Anonymous says:

      My friend was recently swimming at public beach neard Calico Jack's and was almost hit by the idiot staff members who thought it entertaining to do 360s on their jet-skis at the end of the day. Who can we complain to?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Like someone said on a recent post where are these so call Marine patrols. RCiPS keeps getting caught in these deceptive statements. This accident was just a matter of time. The poster was also on the Money When Mr Derek Haines was incharge of DTF Marine you would see these patrol boats on patrol everyday in Cayman and in the sister islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please tell the Marine Unit when/where they need to be for the next incident?

      If they are patrolling North Sound then they get criticized when a fishermans need rescue off Pedro and the response time is slow. If they patrol Seven Mile Beach then that is the time that Cuban refugees come ashore in East End. They could be patrolling for drug canoes offshore and some idiot runs his boat into the reef because he could be bothered to ask for directions from Port Security.

      There is a lot of coastline to cover and very few resources.  There are few resources because WE do not want to pay for enough boats and personnel to provide a higher level of coverage.


      • Anonymous says:

        I wouldn't say we don't pay…we bought all of the fancy toys that sit idle on trailers didn't we?  Didn't we also build a Marine Patrol base?  The public wants marine patrols but it seems the marine patrol budget gets consumed by ordering a new fleet of Dodge Chargers?!?

        • Anonymous says:

          I saw the Marine Unit several times around George Town harbour last week, on the water

        • Anonymous says:

          And those boats operate on sunshine and high hopes? We need diesel and staff, which costs a lot more in terms of operating costs than the initialoutlay for boats.

          To think through the issue, what would be a suitable maximum response time to maintain 24/7 for on-the-water response? Five minutes? Ten minutes? 15 minutes? 20 minutes? 30 minutes?

          How long is the coastline you want to patrol? Grand Cayman has a coastline of about 99 miles but shape of the coastline would come into play a bit too. Might want a response capability for the Sister Islands, which would add another 25 miles or so of shoreline.

          How fast is the response boat capable of going? Will vary a bit depending on sea conditions but let's be optimistic and say 30kts.

          One patrol boat would be capable of providing coverage for a 5 nautical mile radius (d=r*t) for with a response time of 10 minutes. That radius covers 10 miles of shoreline. We need 10 boats operating 24/7 to provide that level of coverage for Grand Cayman. Add more boats for Sister Island coverage.

          How many personnel are needed to operate each patrol boat? Two? Three?  At  two per boat and a 10 minute response time we need 80 full time officers (officers working 12 hours shifts with zero holidays, vacation days, or sick days) for the Marine Unit. Add another 10 officers to cover sick days, vacation, days, etc which are legally mandated.  At three personnel per boat we are looking at about 135 or so officers to fully staff a Marine Unit to provide that level of coverage for Grand  Cayman.

          Estimate one full time officer salary plus all benefits at CI$50,000 then we would be facing a CI$6.75 million salary cost for those 135 officers before we pay for one drop of diesel or one spare part for maintainence.

          Could we do it? Sure. We could. We just have to pay. Instead we choose slower response times and smaller staff. As this is the path we have chosen you start to realize that a combined land/sea response will lower average response times. Station boats in various locations around the island and have staff respond on land and then get on the boats to respond. It makes the most of what resources we do have.

  9. My2cents says:

    If the Jetskier is responsible I hope he faces some serious charges. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    Oh Shut Up!!!!!!!!!!!!!….. Really have you been anywhere else in your little small world and taken a similar ride or involved yourself in any kind of sport… if you don't like Cayman go the hell away and stay away…

    Signed Long term resident…. That has traveled the world.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ban jet skis, they are nothing but peace polluters!

  12. Anonymous says:

    May God bless and heal her and give her a complete recovery in Jesus' name!

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope the young ladies has a full recovery.  I don't see why it has to be "in Jesus' name".   I'll put all of my faith in the health care professionals who are dealing with her, thank you.


      • Anonymous says:

        He is the great healer and if you personally don't believe, that's your choice.  But I would say that all avenues should be called upon to heal this young lady.  Please don't criticise those who believe and have seen the power of Jesus at work.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hope all a speedy recovery

  14. Nemo says:

    The safety standards of the tour operators in Cayman are a disgrace.  They are more interested in getting everyone to sign away all liabilities.  The moral hazard impact of allowing operators to exclude liability is unarguable and most civilized nations have outlawed such exclusions for consumers a long long time ago.  This is yet another example of the laws of Cayman protecting the bank balances of locals over the well being of foreigners.

    • Whodatis says:


      Nemo, on behalf of everyone here – I hope you are never found.


    • Anonymous says:

      it said that another jet-ski collided with the banana boat.  why have you jumped straight to it was the tour operator's fault?  perhaps maybe it was the fault of the young boys that ride these jet-skis worst than they drive on the roads.  they're is no one policing how fast you can move around on a jet-ski.  even though there is a sort of code of the sea, it is nothing that is enforceable.  these teenage boys on jet-skis are just as bad as they are on the street.  no consideration for anyone around them.

    • Anonymous says:

      The courts would take no notice of any piece of paper which claimed to deny liability for a companies negligence, case law would prevail…those waivers are of no value.

      • Nemo says:

        Unfortunately in Cayman they are valid as we have not introduced the most basic consumer protection legislation to stop them.

        • Anonymous says:

          Even without the legislation, the case law that would be followed does not allow a company (or any other body) to enforce any contract where they have attempted to waive liability for the company's negligence.

          • Tiny Briefs says:

            This would be the case law cited in "Fantasy Made Up Law Vol II"?  It sure is not the law of the Cayman Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      How do you know the tour operator was to blame? The operators might well have just been going about his business with all the industry safey standard in place, then some 17 year old moron on a jetski plows into the side of you. Hard to protect yourself and your customers from morons, don't you think?

    • Anonymous says:

      I believe most civilized nations actually still do allow this practice. I don't agree but, it's very common.  I just had to sign one when simply being a spectator at an event in the US.

    • Anonymous says:

      The 17 year old tourist rented the jetski.  From what is commonly known of 17 year old kids, negligence on part of the kid with poor thought processes are likely scenarios.  For the company to be liable is difficult if the reason for the accident was solely the teenagers fault.  Think renting a car and a tourist hitting someone else.  In that scenario is it the fault of the driver or the car rental agency? I would bet the driver is at fault unless the car was malfunctioning.

      Let's pray for a speedy recovery for the injured individuals.

      • Turtle's Head says:

        Would they rent a car to a 17 year old?  No.  Renting a deadly machine to an untrained inexperience child without adequate supervision is negligent where I come from.  The operator of the jet-ski rental business must take some of the responsibility, since no rental no accident.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have personally worked in the watersports industry here for years and have also travelled toover 25 countries. The safety standard on a whole for tour operators in the Cayman Islands is very high from what i have experienced. I agree occasionally there may be a lapse in safety but to generalise every operation in the Islands is lax, well i have to say i dont think your right.

    • Sailor Bill says:

      This will get a lot of negative reaction from those that are putting profit before responsibility, which is a large part of the watersports company owners of the Cayman Islands.