Pedro bluff warnings planned

| 03/01/2012

pedro bluff (2).jpg(CNS): Following the tragic deaths of two young men who drowned over the Christmas and New Year holiday cliff jumping from the bluff in the Pedro St James area the police and the port authority say they are considering erecting warning signs in the area. The location is popular with young people as a place for daring ocean diving, stunts but the combination of strong currents and poor weather conditions can make the site an extremely dangerous. The police said Tuesday that the RCIPS marine unit is carrying out full investigations into the circumstances surrounding the drowning of the two young men in two separate incidents at the same location less than a week apart.

Twenty one year old Adam Rankine was killed on New Year’s Day when he drowned after he is believed to have jumped into the rough waters at around 4:30pm. Although the emergency services attended the scene shortly after the alarmed was raised, just over one hour later Rankine’s body was pulled from the water.

On Boxing Day emergency services had already dealt with the first tragedy at the location. At the same spot at around the same time 17 year old Justin Henry from George Town was reported to be in difficulty in the ocean. One of the young men with Justin was also said to have jumped into the sea after him but he was unable to assist in the rough conditions and strong currents. The emergency services were also unable to trace Justin before night fall and his body was eventually recovered by the marine support unit at around 9:30 the next morning (Tuesday 27 December).

According to reports on Cayman27, the local television station, the family believe it was out of character for Justin to have voluntarily jumped into the dangerous waters and they are not convinced he was cliff diving.

The area is however, a popular spot for ocean diving, not just with locals but with visitors to the islands as well, as the site has been identified on both Trip Advisor and Facebook as a place for cliff jumping.

Last July the emergency services pulled two St Matthews students out of the water safe and well after a local marine officer jumped into the water himself with life vests to save the men who had gotten into difficulty.  A teenager from Cayman Brac also drowned at the location in 2003 after jumping into the ocean during rough conditions.

In the wake of the recent deaths there has been an outcry from the public to ban cliff jumping in the area but government is unlikely to want to legislate against people diving into the ocean. It is more likely to opt for clear signs indicating the risks to swimmers such as the power of the currents, the water depth and the increased dangers during rough seas as well as the difficulty in finding a safe place to come ashore.

Category: Local News

Comments (34)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    While they are at it, could they please install a sign on every stretch of the road to indicate that driving stupid kills ( and most like it kills the innocent) ?!?!?!

    I actually think that getting our roads safe is much more important as idiots drivers don't just endanger themselves but everyone else who happens to be on the road! I really wishe the public, police and government would focus their attention there.

    The once who are jumping off the cliff are really just a danger to themselves.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Block it off!! Now more than ever we are going to have URBAN LEGEND dares!!! Kids are daring and it is best to at least have ladders or safe ropes in the area if they are needed.

    And let's think about this for ever 1 person that gets is distress there are over 100 people risking an attempt to rescue.

    Good old saying….prevetion better than cure!

    • Anonymous says:

      This is another good example of Cayman's way of over reacting and "jumping off the deep end", no pun intented.

      I grew up in Savannah. During my childhood, we spend many summer days (calm days) jumping off that very same bluff at Pedro. We also went in the "hole" which filled up on windy days. The "hole" would fill with the sea from the wave action generated by the wind.

      Any way, NO ONE DROWNED, simply because we knew when to go into the ocean and when not to!!!! If it was too choppy we kept our butt's on shore.

      Cliff jumping is now a sport enjoyed by visitors to many islands that offer it. And considering what we offer here, we need every attraction we can get!!!

      Hawaii offers this very same sport on the big island. People from around the world go there and enjoy it. But not here, oh no, we ga stop it because some people don't know how to control themselves.

      It's like speeding, we know speeding in cars can kill but yet some people just can't get it in their thick skulls!!!!

      So please lets not over react in the usual Cayman manner.

  3. That picture is just wrong says:

    That picture is just wrong for this article ……the water looks too inviting. Instead put a picture of the dead children … this will faster deter people from jumping.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey Thanks

      Its a picture from a time me and my pals went jumping – dont know how CNS got it ,

      perfect day flat seas ,no current  was a great day –

  4. Anonymous says:

    Putting up a fence, or signs will never stop people from trying to jump these cliffs.  The only thing that can be done would be to put something out in the water that people could cling on to if they get intotrouble.  Maybe a swim platform that is moored permanently to the ocean bottom.  Unfortunately these situations come down to bad parenting.  As parents we trust that when we send out kids out into the world, they would make wise decisions because of what we have tought them. These kids were obviously not taught smart behavior and common sense.  To the parents who have lost their kids to this tragedy, take responsibility, this is partly your fault, do not try to blame goverment for lack of signs or fencing.  If something looks dangerous, and people tell you its dangerouse, and you have a feeling it might be dangerouse, well then maybe it IS dangerouse.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I heard that all the Gangsta boys robbing stores are too scared to jump off the Pedro Cliffs!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Drill holes in the iron shore about 15 feet back from the edge of the cliff and pack full of dynamite and explode leaving a boulder field not attractive for jumping. No signs needed

  7. Anita Justice says:

    To put it as simple as possible. No matter the amount of signs, thick headed people will ignore all the Warnings! As has been said, you can fix ugly, but you can’t fix stupid!

  8. draft dodger says:

    'The authorities are considering putting signs up'… Praise be! Is there no end to the lengths to which the 'awetoritehs' (read it out loud) will go to protect us? I'm assuming the signs will have to go out to tender, be approved by a committee, and be put up just after the next fatality.

    Did anyone push Rankine? Nope. Did anyone push Henry? Nope. Would they have heeded signs? probably not. may they rest in peace, but yet again, too little, too late. You can't protect everyone from everything, even themselves.

    • Anonymous says:

      Especially themselves!

    • draft dodger says:

      Wait, I forgot! Do the signs have to be in patois and all the other languages, like 'gangsta' for instance, like the bible….

  9. Bill says:

    Pedro Bluff Warnings Planned???  Excuse me, but what further warnings is needed when God has given you two eyes, two ears, and common sense???!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Fire Department should bolt in a couple knoted ropes or a ladder.  Unless you are a skilled free climber, there are only a couple ways to get back up and even then, lots of exposure and little purchase. 

    • She Diver says:

      I've gotten out after a dive, with all my gear and I weigh 120.

      Must have booties

  11. Anonymous says:

    That is not correct…the current there is very strong and heads out in a southerly direction( out to sea) sometimes as much as 2 to 3 knts,so here we go again talk what you know and not what you believe. You are correct in saying that due to the large swells it is difficult to exit the water to do this safely the sea state would have to be very calm and even then it is difficult.

    I think the best thing to do is put 2 life rings with 200ft of rope attached on the bluff in that area as like i said before if they want to jump they will jump but at least there will be a floatation aid attached to shore that could aid anyone who gets into difficulty in the water.

    Sighns will not have any effect in my opinion.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is a tragic river where I am from that has claimed many a lives as people try to swim in it and cross over it when it freezes(but, it truely never freezes as the current under neath is too strong). After the last tragedy of 4 young boys at once, signs were put up at the edge of the river.. I believe the one thing that HAS really worked is that each year before the river "freezes over" and right before the summer begins, the police go into EVERY school system and speak to the children about the dangers of swimming and crossing the river. The police also go the Boy's and Girl's Club and YMCA. We have not had a tragedy in the river since and I have to believe that the young children are not entering or crossing the river.

      This river is a big attaction to children in the area, but it seems like now children are walking around it in the winter instead of crossing it……..and I have to believe it is because of the discussions. Maybe this is what is needed in GC regarding the cliff jumping?!? I do not think it would hurt?


  12. Anonymous says:

    Hey that’s me jumping :)) What a great day that was!!!

  13. Entreprenuer Ebanks says:

    I will be submitting my application to turn this site in to a tourist attraction. Even Durty Reids could have survived up there with a Rick's Cafe style attraction.

    We close the sandbar when it's rough, why not do the same with the cliffs?

    This is a beautiful and perfectly safe place to jump on a calm and clear day and people have being doing it for hundreds of years.

    Charge them money to do it and regulate it.

  14. Wiggy says:

    They should put amd string and ribbons up at the place where people jump to block the access.

    The booby birds or frigate birds are the only ones that should be jumping off the cliffs!

  15. Anonymous says:

    And you assume that these kids can read?


    And you assume that these kids want to read the signs?


    Cannot you remember what it was like to be 15 and full of testosterasone?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps instead of banning cliff diving (which in my view will likely only result in more jumping on dares/for thrills and will do nothing to stop kids from being… well, kids) perhaps instead, as other readers have suggested, we could find a way of making it safer for those few idiots that are daring enough to try it.  With a little imagination perhaps a sponsor could be found to fund such precautions and even consider training and competitions.  Cliff diving is an extreme sport in its own right, and could become quite a tourist attraction in the right hands… just take a peek at the annual comps sponsored by Red Bull:

    …they're on the lookout for new locations!

    • Anonymous says:

      If you are going to provide solutions, please don't comment. It makes it much more difficult for us complainers to pursue one of our most treasured national pastimes. 

  17. Anonymous says:

    Let's put a sign on everything!  Why stop at "dangerous cliff"? Thinking of the many one car (and one plane) accidents, we also need signs for "dangerous tree", "dangerous rock", "dangerous ditch by the side of the road", "dangerous lightpole", "dangerous circular spot in the road" etc etc. 

    The sign at Pedro can say "Look at all the pointy rocks. They can poke holes in you. See the deep water? It's deeper than you are tall and you can't breath when you are under it. Also look at the big waves. They can smash you on the pointy rocks and put you under the deep water. But hey, they do this stuff on TV so go ahead and take your shot."

  18. Anonymous says:

    The Police, Port Authority & all types of concerned citizens can erect all the warning signs in the area, however the basic instinct of common sense & excercising that in this circumstance to NOT engage in cliff jumping ( or diving ), will be the only thing that will avoid future casualties at the location.

  19. Anonymous says:

    considering  there is no if & buts with this something has to be done and done ASAP.

  20. Frank says:

    It is extremely unfortunate what happened here over the past couple of weeks, especially due to the unknown cirmcumstances if which one of these guys ended up in the water. In saying that i have been jumping off of this cliff for over 10 years and i have never encountered any problems for purely one reason. If it is remotely rough DO NOT JUMP! When these waters are flat calm is the only time that anybody should be jumping from here.

    Cliff jumping can be fun and is done all over the world but as with anything that involves water or heights, it is to be done with care and under safe conditions. I do however agree with the warning signs and as mentioned previosuly maybe placing buoys in the water for an additional safety measure.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Install a row of safety buoys so that anyone getting into trouble can hang on to them until help arrives.


    Trying to stop dare devils from jumping will only encourage more attempts. That's human nature.

  22. Anonymous says:

    There are no strong currents, the problem is the deep ocean swell which makes it difficult to exit the water.

    • JC says:

      To Anonymous  Tue, 01/03/2012 – 16:38

      Trust me, there ARE INDEED strong currents there. I have been diving that site since 1991. There are only certain times that it is safe. And we were always aware of the dangers.

      On one occasion we gave the okay to dive and upon returning to the surface those conditions had changed. Waves were larger and the current was stronger. On another occasion we aborted the dive after entering the water because of the current.

      I speak of what I know from personal experience on several occasions.


      PS. Yes the water is too deep for bouys that would be gone in the next storm,  but cutting steps in the ironshore would be a great idea. Even driving stakes for hand-holds would be good.

  23. Anonymous says:

    It is clear that this will not stop even if warning signs will be put in place. Here's a simple solution that should have been considered a longtime ago. Have a solid ladder bolted on to the cliff, so that people who do jump off at least have a way of getting back up. Just food for thought! 

    • Local says:

      I've been swimming out there for 15 years since I was a little kid and gathering whelks.  If you are prepared, all obstacles are surmountable.  If it is rough – don't jump in the water.  If for some reason you are stupid enough to do this once and lucky enough to come out unscathed then you won't do it again.  Trust me… The rocks are sharp, you cannot see anything besides the white froth of the waves – even with a mask on.  There are bristle worms and sea urchins (sea eggs), and firecoral to contend with  as well.  However, with the right equipment and a clear calm day it can be an enjoyable and safe experience, that no Caymanian should be prevented from experiencing.