Teenager drowns at sea

| 27/12/2011

_DEW0749.jpg(CNS): The body of a missing teenage boy who drowned after diving into the ocean from cliffs in the Pedro Castle area along Grand Cayman’s south coast has been found. Officials confirmed that the body of 17 year  old Justin Henry from George Town was recovered at around 9:30 this morning following what was described by the police as an extensive search of the Pedro bluff. The circumstances surrounding the incident are now under investigation but earlier reports indicate the teenager was cliff diving in the area with friends yesterday afternoon when he got into difficulty. The search for Justin began in the afternoon around 4:30pm after the incident was reported to the 911 emergency centre but called off before 7pm Monday night. (Photo Dennie Warren jr)

justinhenry.jpgPolice recommenced the full scale search at first light with the marine and air support units.

In July emergency services rescued two students from St Matthews University who were also cliff diving from the same spot. At that time with plenty of daylight remaining,as the men got into difficulty around lunchtime, the police were able to find and rescue the students in what is known to be a dangerous area.

Yesterday emergency services were forced to call off the search in the evening due to the fall of darkness and the ocean conditions.

Category: Local News

Comments (54)

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  1. glenna says:

    My condolences to Earl  Shasha and family so sad



  2. Anonymous says:

    15:42 – You said pastime.  Where the hell you have been in the last twenty years..  Ive been right here and lives near the Pedro Road.  As a child I can remember my parents saying "NEVER go down that Pedro Road and not to go near the bluff". 

    I know and I have read about many people jumping off the Pedro Bluff, some manage to live, some drowned and some have never been seen again.

    So stay to hell away from the Pedro Bluff people, stay away please… Tell your children that the bluff is not a playing area.

    Rest in pease Justin

  3. Anonymous says:

    I'm so disgustingly sick of this blame game Caymanians play against the Government and the police with every single thing that happens here. "The Government needs to do more" or "the police need to do better" is all I seem to hear. The Government can erect as many "No Swimming" signs as they want to and they can install CCTV cameras in the area but a sign won't stop someone from jumping if they want to and CCTV camera won't do anything after the fact but prove whether the person jumped on their free will, accidentally fell or was pushed. The police can't be everywhere all the time…there just aren't enough of them, plain and simple. We all think they could do a better job at what they do and we all feel they could have faster response times but who's to say the officers who did arrive at the scene didn't get there as soon as humanly possible?Who's to say the force in its entirety were not handling other emergency matters? Who's to say the helicopter wasn't deployed the same time as the police? I'm sure only so many officers are trained to fly the chopper.

    What ever happened to a family raising a child? What ever happened to people taking responsibility of their own actions? Whatever happened to a community looking out for the children? For their neighbours?

    I'm sick with heartache for the family of this young man. As a parent I couldn't imagine losing my child in this way or any other but the police nor the Government are to blame. If we're to be honest with ourselves we will admit the children that were out there are to blame (they shouldn't have been there). We'll admit the parents and family of the child were to blame (they could have kept closer tabs on him). We'll admit we as a community are to blame (no one saw anything nor did anything). We are all to blame in some way. We have all turned our backs on other people because we simply don't want to "get involved". We see other's peoples children involved in suspect things, walking the street later than we think is safe, hanging around other kids or adults that seem dangerous, in the wrong crowds, behaving rudely to their parents and friends and yet no one says anything. We allow these children too much freedom to do as they please, when they please, how they please. And when something happens – a life is lost, a fight breaks out, an accidents occurs, there's another shooting, you name it – it's automatically the police or the Government's fault.

    It's our fault – yours and mine.

  4. Anonymous says:

    As a much read media, CNS should try to be more humane and responsible with what it publishes. Many of these comments are unfounded and pure speculation, and only add to the pain of the grieving parents and the trauma of the surviving teen. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    Cliff diving off Pedro has been a Cayman pastime for as long as can be remembered???!! Perhaps you have a very short memory BoBo. This was not the pastime of any generations until recently when kids whose imaginations are fuelled by watching extreme sports on TV started this crazy practice.

    There was a reason that it was never a traditional pastime and that is the danger that it is now revealing – strong currents and debilitating surf. Nature hasn't changed the elements – the only change is the new belief that it's harmless fun. 

  6. year 12 cayman brac student says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Ok jeronimo, i guess u walk around all day with a piece of rope and a wide object just in case you have to rescue someone.

      I guess you missed the part where his friend jumped in to help but didn't find him?


      Everyone's a hero after something like this happens by saying I would have done this or that, but unless you were there and acted you can't say what you "would have" done!

    • Anonymous says:

      lol… for a twelve year old brac student, you sure XXXXX!!!! alot. Next time if you want to paint Cayman's youth in a negative light, I suggest you post a Viewpoint at least about it.

    • Anonymous says:

      For God sakes dont let anyone know youre from the Brac.

  7. Anonymous says:

    My condolences to the family.

    R.I.P Justin

  8. Anonymous says:

    OK guys,

    Kids will be kids, cliff jumping at Pedro has been a Cayman past time for as long as I remember. Put up all the walls and barriers that you like, the kids will find another spot to jump.

    A few hundred dollars on safety equipment is a good idea but how long would it last before some idiot takes it or destroys it? Would safety equipment give others the impression that it was OK to jump?

    I have jumped a few times on calm days and the current is amazing even then. The fact is that the loss of another young man should be used to educate your children as to how dangerous cliff jumping can be.

    Why do Caymanians always have to blame someone?? The police did not get there quick enough, the government should have prevented it, a suggestion that his friend pushed him, etc etc. This was a tragedy and a young boy lost his life. Stop playing the blame game and look at yourself. Educate those around you and try to learn from incidents like this. Speak to your children, make sure that they understand. Things like this will still happen, that is a fact of life, but parking the blame at the doors of others is simply wrong.

  9. Concerned Caymanian says:

    Someone should be blamed for the many deaths at pedro Castle, also the many near deaths,  Since the Government know what has been taking place there for years, why dont they prohibit cliff diving.  That place is HAUNTED, too many slaves died there along the cliff, People need to stay from that place because it is very mysterious.

    • Anonymous says:

      Slaves died there? Really? Do tell us more!

    • PC says:

      Not superstitious and well known of its history, but I do know Cayman has had abused slaves, the Pedro area for years has been a very seclude spot, and mysterious things have occurred there. On more than one occasion, the spot has taken a life. However, I don't believe you should push all the blame on government, although it would be nice to hear something from the UDP candidates representing Bodden Town.

    • bushrustler says:

      I have visited there at night and I was afraid to get out of my vehicle.

      Several others who had parked up were also afraid to get out.

      I have heard that a ghost animal haunts that area and it is known locally as 'the dogging spot'.


  10. Anonymous says:

    Justin was a dear friend of mine and many others, we ALL know him very well enough to say that he would not have jumped. Fallen, perhaps but not jump. Pushed, more than likely, but not jump. He was smart, strong and very athletic.

    The police and rescue divers as well as helicopter were to have been out there from "first light'. Yet, they didnt reach out there til after 9am when the sun was up for nearly 2-3 hours. I got there way earlier than the police. And this 'helicopter' that we only hear and see when they're looking for illegal substances wasn't even out there AT ALL. 

    Whether Guccii died on impact or shortly after, his body could have been found that said same day he went missing! Giving his family and friends much more closure at a much more settling time.

    By the way, Justin is 16. He would've been 17 in February.

    See you soon, Guccii, gonna be missing you at graduation.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So sad.  Yet another young Caymanian male gone.  Sincere condolences to his family and friends and to the other boy who survived but will no doubt feel guilty that his friend did not make it.  

  12. Anonymous says:

    Can we at least get some safety equipment out there, a few of those donut floats or something so at least if someone gets in trouble there is something people can do in addition to calling the police.  I never saw the thrill in diving off that cliff, I'm petrified of Pedro Bluff but for those who do enjoy it lets at least have some saftey equipment available.

    My condolences to the family, RIP Justin.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Put rip photo or names up with a sign saying ” Cliff diving is dangerous and deadly! Will you be next?”

  14. Anonymous says:

    Why don:t the Government install a wall there to deter people from attempting to jump and post Danger signs and No diving signs there.  This tragedy is happening much too often.  They need to do the same out by the Turtle farm, as these 2 areas are well known by the old locals that there are whirlpools and rip currents in these areas and are not for swimming or diving. Too many lives are lost in these 2 areas, due to negligence.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Emergency Rescue Swimmers / Divers Needed!!!!

    First of all, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family of the young teenager who was tragically taken by the forces of nature. “R.I.P.”

    Year after year we are faced with several different types of distress calls on this Island that  are all water related such as; vessels strand at sea, scuba divers missing, persons falling off charter boats in the North Sound, persons being thrown from their personal water crafts, boats capsizing in several different location around the Island, surfboards caught in dangerous chop, persons submerged and trapped in vehicles in canals, and numerous persons cliff jumping at Pedro and getting caught in rip tides.  All of these incidents have brought a very troubling question my mind and I hope that someone can give me an answer to it.   

    Why is there not a specialist dive team available in the Cayman Islands for emergencies like these?

    • Anonymous says:


    • gratefull for a change says:

      There is such a team in the RCIPS Marine. There was some emphasis put on it about a year  ago and it was in the news paper and on rooster. Im not sure if it was continued after though? It was a good idea!

  16. Mushroom1 says:

    From what I understand, via his class mates, this youth did not jump. Horseplay in an area that should be restricted lead to if very sad and untimely end. My condolences to his family.

  17. DubK says:

    The victim was found under the bluff ledge where he jump. Not much of a search was obviously done as some claimed. Gone are days of the real search and rescue experience officers.The RCIPS has lost its best people how really sad!

    • Anonymous says:

      How do you know where he was found? were you in the water with the police divers? The day the young man went missing the weather (sea state) was alot worse and due to the fading light police swimmers did a surface search and  from what i could see and the white wash was really strong not to mention the current in the area the young man had jumped off the cliff. The young boy was found the next day in a crevasse in the area of the white wash by police divers. Always remember talk what you know and not what you believe as spreading propaganda is not in your best interest in a matter such as this.

      My heart goes out to the family to lose such a young child. R.I.P. Justin.


    • so anonymous says:

      Caymankind talking.  Blame blame blame.

  18. Anonymous says:

    As part of the new CCTV sytstem maybe one should be installed there as this happens all too often.Boys will be boys and I know what I was like. No sign was going to stop me.

    Maybe install achain ladder as well.

  19. Anonymous says:

    RIP Justin….my heart goes out to your mom and family now and tthen facing the coming days without you…

    • Anonymous says:

      as ur lil sister i will seriously miss u and since i only saw you twice i think that in heaven u will love me 2 


  20. Anonymous says:

    The police were called at 4.05 through 911 and the caller asked for them to send the helicopter as the 2 boys were drowing.  The police camp half hour after the call and then called the helicopter after they reached the scene and the helicopter did not reach there until an hour after the call to 911 was made…why did the police and helicopter did not dispatch at the same time with rescue divers from the fire department being deployed at the same time'  all these rescue crews are on the same wave length and should deploy themselves when they hear this type of SOS call…then to the horror of the caller to 911 once the boy found alive was brought up from the sea the police kept him in the hot sun taking a statement instead of whisking him away in an ambulance and doing the interview on the way to the hospital…now I understand the child is in hospital in critical condition…in addition to shock that he could not save his friend and the battering he received and the salt water in his lungs ansd stomach added to this, and un-necessary delay with the police getting his statement on the scene can ultimately contribute to this child never regaining consciousness…why dont these police think? they can always get the statement later…save the life first…they repeatedly do this ass-backwards "ass-fumss" work!

    • Anonymous says:

      Can we please have a Caymanian who cares about Cayman at the helm of this police force, because the leadership we have now is lackadaisical, very, very poor in the execution, excessively hostile, evasive at the best of times and generally useless?

      • Anonymous says:

        Well, 9:57, we had Mr Braggs as Chief of Police a few years back but that was hardly inspiring. Could you suggest a Caymanian who would meet your criteria?

        • anonymous says:


          Anthony Ennis (S), Marlon Bodden, Kurt Walton, Adrian Seales (S) all of whom are Caymanian and are caring, intelligent officers and have formal qualifications. Either of these officers will do a better job and bring back the morale. Some key local officers would even return if this happened!

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh well, you can then write off any Caymanian as a possible CoP. LOL.

          We have had a number of "uninspiring" Brits as CoP but with the exception (who was perhaps the most inspiring) they don't get axed.

      • Anonymous says:

        What has this got to do with anything here?????


      • Anonymous says:

        Caymankind talking.  We are the best.  Everyone else(non Caymanian) is not as good.  All evidence to the contrary.

    • Anonymous says:

      This type of ignorant behaviour by the police is nothing new. I remember several years ago when a friend of mine suffered serious internal injuries in a car accident and  police officers detained him at the scene (bleeding internally mind you!) for them to call an off duty doctor to take a blood sample for DUI, which could easily have been taken at the hospital. Dr. Conolly at the hospital was very angry at what had happened and my friend's sister raised merry hell with them and she also filed a written complaint with Thursfield who was then the Commissioner. I would need to check with him or his sister but I believe that she received a letter from Thursfied which stated that an entry was made in the RCIPS rule book (or something like that) stating that persons could not be detained by the police and that the medical personnel must be first allowed to treat the patients. Then they wanted to arrest him and put police officers by his bedroom door and all sorts of things, even though no one was killed or injured other than him. All of this when the man was on death's door. His sister got a lawyer that night who put them in their place and no police offers were allowed to be posted there but that is the RCIPS for ya! Even after all these years they are still doing crap and endangering peoples lifes for statements and evidence collecting. I am sure that somebody can research about that case and the rule entry because if my memory is right then the RCIPS would be breaking the rule. We will see then how Baines deal with that.

      • Bloody Mary says:

        "Even after all these years they are still doing crap and endangering peoples lifes for statements and evidence collecting."  ….and losing them afterwards.

    • Anonymous says:

      These kids should've also notified the Police that they were going cliff diving, just in case they needed their assistance!!!

      Just like the shooting…………Police cant be everywhere at all times!!

      My condolences to the family!

  21. XXX says:

    Condolences to his family.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Folks, the cliff off Pedro Castle / Beach Bay is pure Ocean!  At least, the government should have signs erected to warn youngsters and tourist of venturing the current. When that girl, Kerran Baker went missing that was one of the first things that went across my mind. What if she and some mysterious friend went cliff diving, and she got into some difficulty. I have heard many others before went missing around that area and it was because they ventured to jump off the cliff.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Kerran did not go cliff diving.

    • Anonymous says:

      Foolish post.  Yeah, she went cliff diving with some mysterious friend.  And she dropped off everything, including her groceries on the floor, so she can go cliff diving; because she just couldn't wait to go cliff diving.  Think before you type next time – idiot.

  23. Absurdistani says:

    Can we please get some (more) signs out there at Pedro cliff? This is happening all too often.

  24. anonymous says:

    diving off the cliff can be fun, but you have to know what you're diving in first before you leap. sometimes the water may look deep and its not, and you have to push out far from the edge to avoid hitting the wall. i believe cayman needs more recreational activities for young people to keep them out of being idle. cayman has nothing for the youth but clubs

  25. Anonymous says:

    Since they know that teens still are going to Cliff Jump and take the risks, what they need to do is make it safer. By putting a safety net on dangerous places including rocks and another safety net on the outside so the current doesn’t drag them out. RIP Justin

  26. kay says:

    I think they need to fence off that area

  27. FBB says:

    Sad that a young man has lost his life but authorities have consistently warned people about swimming in this area and by the Spotts dock yet adventurers insist on doing so. 

  28. Anon 1.0 says:


  29. Anonymous says:

    Heartfelt condolences to the family of this young boy.

    This is a well known spot for 'cliff jumping' by mainly youngsters into what are generally dangerous waters.  Signs must be placed along the cliffs stating the numbers so far who have been drowned and warning of the extreme dangers involved in this foolish activity.  It won't deter allbut it might deter some.

  30. Anonymous says:

    This is so sad.  Condolences to the family.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Body of missing swimmer found.  My condolences to the family.

  32. Anonymous says:

    VERY VERY  SAD,I am realy   sorry for his family, but how much more WARNING can the police give about  jump that cliff ?