Elderly visitor’s body found at Coral gardens

| 07/12/2011

(CNS): Updated, victim identified —  Police are investigating the death of a 71-year-old cruise ship passenger Samir Rizk of Raleighof North Carolina, who died on Tuesday afternoon in the area of the Sand Bar. A spokesperson for the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service said that just before 2pm on 6 December police received a report that a man had been found in the ocean, near to Coral Gardens, floating in the water by people who were on a boat at the Sand Bar. The boat occupants had lifted the man onto their vessel but found he was unconscious and did not respond to CPR. The Joint Marine Unit’s ‘Niven D’ went to the location and transported the man to the Yacht Club, where paramedics were standing by.

He was then taken to the Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town but was found to be dead on arrival.

Enquiries into the circumstances surrounding the incident are ongoing and further details will be made available in due course, a police spokesperson stated, adding that it is anticipated that a post mortem examination will take place on Friday, 9 December.


Category: Local News

Comments (4)

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  1. Ben says:


    My condolences to the family.

    I must say that I am saddened to hear of this tragedy, and I am surprised that anyone was out in the sandbar area on Tuesday to begin with.I am a keen boater, and I drove to George Town Barcadere (by Scott's Marina) to check the conditions on the North Sound at about the time of this incident. The winds were around 15 knots, with choppy conditions and numerous white caps across the whole sound. I would not choose to go out in such conditions for pleasure.

    I do not know the cause of death, but in my experience such conditions make any in-water activities more strenuous, and inherently risky. Such tragedies will continue to occur, but we must continue to look for ways to reduce the risks overall.

    I know in the past the authorities have closed the sand bar (WIZ) during bad weather. I hope they can send a clearer message about their policy, so that we can get a better understanding of how the commercial motivation on the tour operators is balanced with the authorities' duty of care to tourists and guests.

    Perhaps the operators at large (CITA, CIWSA, DoT) should consider a money-back offer for guests who choose not to embark for whatever reason. This removes the pressure on guests to participate (they don't want to give up $100 for nothing), and assures operators that all their guests are comfortable with joining the excursion once they are fully aware of what is involved.


    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for your condolences. I am not family but I did know Samir and his wife. They were members at a church I once attended. We are deeply saddened by thistragedy and are still recovering from the shock.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I know the marine unit are trained in First Aid and have practiced this drill numerous occasions so he would have had the best possible chance of recovery. An unfortunate ending, but I am sure our officers did their best.

    Condolences to the family.



  3. Anonymous says:

    Did the vessel that brought him to the Sand Bar depart without him?