Man killed on wave-runner

| 05/07/2010

(CNS): Updated Monday —  Police are now appealing for witnesses to the jet ski accident which happened yesterday afternoon. Police have confirmed that a 20-year-old man had been killed on Sunday (4 July) in a wave-runner crash. The young rider from George Town is believed to have crashed into the concrete pier in South Sound at around 3:45pm. He was transported to the George Town hospital by ambulance with severe head injuries, but was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival. Police were unable to confirm with certainty if the rough seas or poor weather conditions prevailing around Grand Cayman on Sunday had contributed to the accident and are now asking anyone who may have information to come forward.

Anyone with information should call George Town police station on 949-4222 or CrimeStoppers 800-8477 (TIPS).

CNS note: The family of the victim of Sunday’s accident has requested the removal of the comment box, which we have done out of respect for those grieving. However, to join a general discussion on the use of personal watercraft, which does not specifically reference this tragic event, can be found in the CNS Public Forum.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hind sight is 20/20!!! How many times have we, as adults, did something that once it was thought about, realised how dangerous it was or how the oucome could have been detrimental to our lives? We need to guide our young people and encourage them to make the right choices in life regardless whether it is behind the wheel of a car, on a motorcycle or on a water craft.

    Please do not judge Mark and make crude comments that will cause more pain for his family through this media.

    R.I.P. Mark, you will not be forgotten.


  2. Kim says:

    R.I.P. Mark, you will be missed. Molly, please stay strong for your daughters and his sisters. Mark, your memories will live on forever.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Accidents are always tragic and can happen to anyone anywhere. Obviously, it is even more tragic if it was a seemingly easily preventable accident which resulted in a death of someone ( and again, even worse, if this person was of young age).

    The only positive result that can come out of something like this is that a lesson be learned and we ALL sit up and take notice and strive to prevent something like this from happening again.

    As such, the people who feel insulted that some people raise their concerns in relation to this topic – please take a step back and try to see the bigger picture. You may not be able to do this now, but if further tragedy can be prevented, then the discussions were worth it

  4. Anonymous says:

    What a horrible senseless tragedy!

    Jet skis in the Cayman Islands are the equivalence of motor cycles anywhere else in the world. The difference is that whilst in most other developed countries, one has to obtain a license and learn how to ride a motor cycle, in Cayman anyone (not even sure if there is a minimum age requirment) can hop on a jet ski, with virutally no experience and no acquired skills how to run such a machine.

    Perhaps something to consider for the future. I am actually surprised that swimmers, snorkelers or divers have not been killed yet by one of those jet skis.

    • Around & Around We Go says:

      Please get you facts straight be for going to a public forum to speak. There is a minimum age in the Cayman islands and it is 15 also like any other country you don’t need any thing to get a jet ski, Just the cash to afford it or in the case of the USA and other countries the credit to finance one. So please have some respects and read and do some home work before posting. And out of respect for the family I would refuse to go on about what it takes to ride and operate a Jet Ski as this is not the time or the place to do so! If you wish to do this why not start the topics of such in the local news paper or other means to voice your concerns it funny so many people can come on this site and said they knew something like this would soon happen….

      Well then shame on you for not trying to do what it would take to bring to the attention of the public or other media… Come on???? Anyone could say they seen it coming cause it already done why not do something before accident happen and stand up to voice your concerns…



      R.I.P Mark


      I did not know him but am sure he will be missed…

  5. Anonymous says:

    It makes me a bit upset to read the comments of people in this media. The comments about safety and all the rest should be made before a tragedy occurs. This is someone’s child, people, please be respectful ofthe feeling of his mother, father and family members. He was a fun loving person like all other young people, he was loved and will be greatly missed!!!

    RIP Mark!!


  6. Anonymous says:

    Its so sad that it takes tragedies like this, for people to learn a lesson and take safety.. Hopefully other young people will learn from this and be smart from now on..

    how come the good die young? RIP Mark, you will be missed. 🙁


  7. Anonymous says:

    RIP Mark… gone but not forgotten… Class of ’07!!

  8. Anonymous says:


    I Myself saw how ruff it was on that day in south sound as passed through there at about 1:30 minutes to 2 and was NOT a smart idea for anyone to go out in that kind of weather. People need to stop and back to last year when we lost 5 or 6 people in the north sound when they too tried to venture out in bad weather, People PLEASE that’s why Cayman weather service has even gone the extra mile to put weather reports on a dedicated Radio station and anyone listened to that they would have heard them urging People venture out on any kind of Watercraft.
  9. Anonymous says:

    R.I.P Mark, class of 2007 will definitely miss you. Prayers goes out to Miss. Molly and her family

  10. Anonymous says:

    Not every death on this island is based on negligence or lack of respect for the laws and authorities. 

    Bad things do happen that take good people away from our lives.

    Before people use CNS to air thier opinions based on a tragic circumstance they should wait to understand the full story as the news only reports the basic facts at the time.

    If you see a situation were some one is abusing the law then why don’t you march to the authorities and voice your concerns instead of making tasteless comments on a report of some ones death.

    My condolences to the family in their timeof grief. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Not every death on this island is based on negligence or lack of respect for the laws and authorities. 

      Yep a collision at 5 knots (7 mph) can be lethal, and that is the speed limit that close to a dock

  11. Richard Wadd says:

     CNS, correct me if I’m wrong, but this isn’t a memorial to the young man who has died, but rather a Forum where the Public can express their views on your News Articles.

     If I have struck a nerve, GOOD. Maybe those who are ‘disturbed’ by my comments will come to their senses.

     A young life is lost, it is sad and tragic, but it was lost because the Law was being broken (whether deliberately or not, we are not arguing the circumstances of this individual case).

     While we cry for the loss of such a young life, the REAL TRAGEDY is that his life was lost in an avoidable manner, and WE (the people in general) are actually encouraging the sort of behavior that has led to his demise.

     The LAW says powered watercraft are not to exceed 5mph within 200 yards from the shore-line.

     How long is this Dock? How far does it extend from the shore-line? What speed was the Water-craft travelling at to cause him such devastating injuries? 

     Were you there? I was! Have you seen the Dock? I have!

     I have attended several "ORGANISED" Watercraft events over the years. MANY have been organised and held in direct contravention of this Law. Several in this same area of South Sound Dock.

     If we encourage disregard for the Law, then what? 

    You say to show respect for the family?

    I say lets PREVENT another loss of this nature.

    I say don’t let his families tragic loss be in vain. THAT is showing True Respect for them.

    ‘Ban Jet-skis’? That is almost as stupid as that fool woman who tried to ‘Ban’ HONDA cars, because her idiot son drove one up a tree at 90mph.


    • Anonymous says:

      Here is a little fact! That area of South Sound is a water sports area so the 5 mph does not aply there!!! Find out your facts first before you post!!!

      • Pending says:

        1) What is a watersports area? Define it for us.



      • Pending says:

        It is not a watersports area actually, but rather a Replenishment Zone, so I don’t quite understand what point you are trying to make?

        And whatever a "watersports area"  means does not give anybody the right to break the law. With your reasoning would you then say that seven mile beach is a watersports area? Obviously the answer is yes, and the last time i was on seven mile beach you were not allowed to drive any type of vessel over 5mph within 200yds of the shoreline.

        The fact that the authorities turn a blind eye to this sort of thing is absurd  because if the law was actually enforced  this may not have happened.


  12. Lee says:

    My sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mark, may his soul rest in peace. 

    For everyone who is commenting, please have some consideration and respect for the family as they go through this terrible time.  Pray for them instead of making things worse by being insensitive and maybe look at it as if this tragedy  has happened to you instead: what would you rather read about of what happened? Encouraging and uplifting words or words that would hurt your feelings?

    Molly and family, look to God our creator for your strength, be encouraged – the Lord will bring you all through this.

    God bless you and your family, you will continue to be in my prayers. 

  13. Anonymous says:

    I am from a city 5 times the size of  Cayman and the amount of crime and accidental death on this little island is overwhelming. I have never seen so much of this in my life. When something like this happens at home, it’s once in a blue moon. Things like this seem to be occuring once every 2 weeks or so. Whether it be a water accident or motor accident.

    Parents/ guardians/ family members please talk to your children, teens about the importance of water a.d road safety. Even though talking to them to does guaruntee tradegy will not strike, it could just be the talk that will save their life. Do it now or it could be your child reported on here next.

  14. Para-ann Springfield says:

    "It’s time the authorities do this, it’s time the authorities do that, these people this, these people that."                                                                  

    While all comments are not lost, this is not the time nor the place to make inappropriate comments on practices adopted by other riders, or the lack or enforcement by somebody. A young man partaking in an activity many of us have too enjoyed has lost his life! It is a very unfortunate accident, of which, thank the Lord, doesn’t happen very often. So please let the young man’s family grieve in peace.  

    If you want to see something done, get up, pull resources, invite interested persons and form an association to regulate such recreational activities if it is such a big problem. I’m sure the "authorities" will support you. And please apply this thinking to every other issue or article you wish to post to. My people, I’m sick of this reactive attitude.

    To the young man’s family, I wish you the most comfort during this very hard time. I also apologise for those inconsiderate posters who type before they think.


    • Pending says:

      "If you want to see something done, get up, pull resources, invite interested persons and form an association to regulate such recreational activities if it is such a big problem"

      Last time I checked it was the Marine Police’s MO to enforce compliance with such things, thus there is absolutely no need for anybody apart from them to enforce such business. Its called the law and the reason why it is not enforced like many other things on this island is because it is not seen as a serious offence. The  fact that it is an offence  to speed, whether on the water or on the roads, as it is the law, means that a) the police need to do their job b) people need to obey it c) everyone needs to take heed of why there is that law in the first place. This event is a prime example. Like many other "minor  offences" that are committed on this rock, nothing is done / or it is ignored until the inevitable happens. The reason why that law exists is to prevent such things as this.


  15. Anonymous says:

    Condolences to the family and friends.  It is not appropriate to comment on the individual case…however I will confirm what a previous poster has said in that watercraft authorities regularly hold noisy illegal races in the sound.  At one stage I went to complain and without sucess…and the FIRE SERVICE were involved with the event!!!!

    So many laws that are not being enforced…this one, the liqor advertising law, (check that out CNS), the one where cars shouldnt be sold on the side of the road….just to name a few of the top of my head.

    • Anonymous says:

      R.I.P. Mark, & GOD bless Molly & all the family. May his soul rest in peace

  16. steve says:

    i stopped by a few weeks ago to take some photographs of the guys on their jet skis, i was surprised to see them so close to the shore to be honest, the speeds were very fast and they were about 25 yards from the shoreline. why is it no one listens to rules and regulations or warning signs untill its too late?

  17. Kent says:

    God bless him and his family

  18. Richard Wadd says:

     We reap what we sow.

     We have raised a Generation (indeed, a Nation) with no respect for Rules, Laws or Authority.

     The LAW says no exceeding 5mph within 200yards of the shore-line. Yet the Jet-ski racing Association regularly holds races in this very area WITHIN THIS RESTRICTED ZONE.

     What a fine example we set for the younger generation !

     Frankly,while sad, it was a long-time comming .

     Perhaps now there will be more respect displayed for the Laws of our land, maybe even a little Enforcement of them.

    • Anonymous says:

      my child knew this young man and comments like this is not right its hurtful to family and friends like this young man deserved what he got and i dont think this is true. think before you write especially if you dont know the individuals involved 

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry, but knowing the individual or family has nothing to do with obeying rules & regulations. The writer is right in that it is very sad but it was bound to happeneventually, & pointing this out is not disrespectful to the family, it is being truthful. Usually the truth hurts.

    • Anonymous says:

      How stupid the above comment. You sure did nothave any thing worthwile to say, then its better you keep you mouth shut.  I dont thnk CNS would miss you if you were to shut up. Keep in mind,"what goes around comes around"

      My condolences goes out to Molly and her family, may God’s richest blessing sustain you and the rest of the family. May you find comfort in knowing that he cares and understand, and he feel every pain with you.  God is good and he is willing to help you in this time of loss.  May your son’s soul rest in Peace.

      While I am writing Evalee & Jeff Webb send their condolences from South Africa.  Your are in their prayers.

      • Anonymous says:

        We should let all our young children break any rule they want, they do not have to follow the same laws that the rest of us follow? you are part of the problem my friend, it is sad that someone has died but if you run a jetski at 70mph within feet of the shore its just a matter of time. In the same way if you race through town in a car at 60mph it is just a matter of time before a bystander is killed.

        The rules are there to protect people. If you break the rules bad things happen. I don’t blame the parents in this instance, i assume they had no idea that this kid was racing so close to shore BUT we have to start regulating these crafts and ENFORCING the rules! will we need another few Caymanian kids to die before anything is done about it? this is the normal way of Cayman.

        Children should not be on jetskis unsupervised.

  19. Anonymous says:

    It is time that the authorities in these Islands take control of what is happening in our waters with these dangerous jet-skis!!!

    This is one of the unfortunate sources of entertainment that has developed around these islands drawing hundreds of spectators on the beaches to watch the outrageous racing that takes place, putting many of our young people in danger of ending up just like this precious young man. I did not know Mark, but he was some mother’s precious child who has been lost as a result of this extremely dangerous and unregulated "sport".

    Many parents do not understand the danger involved or don’t want to be unpopular with their kids, unfortunately, and so this type of tragic result is not likely to be the last unless our legislators and law enforcers step up and take control. On behalf of our young people, especially our sons, I ask that you do so!! And, you may consider, in consultation with the family, naming the needed legislation "Mark’s Law". Then make sure it is enforced! Please.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with all you say, but the laws you speak of have existed for years – and like every other law, it has simply not been enforced.

  20. Wayne says:

    This is very sad. The age of twenty is far too young to die. The thing that concerns me most though is that a large percentage of the operators of these watercraft are much younger. I do not understand how parents are comfortable allowing kids in their early teens and some even younger to own and operate these craft completely unsupervised. I think the legal age is sixteen! If this can happen to a 20 year old it is far more likely for a young teenage to make a fatal mistake!

    Kids these days want the prettiest and the fastest watercraft – there is nothing slow anymore! They have up to 270 hp stock and can achieve up to 70mph and most importantly they have no brakes! They are also very unpredictable with the ability to change course in a split second. Add in choppy sea conditions, additional riders, riding in large groups at high speeds, growing egos and the desire to show off and sometimes even alcohol and it is a potentially lethal combination.

    It is heartbreaking to see articles like this and when I watch kids racing around at high speeeds, instantly changing directions and paying more attention to the speed of the bike next to them and less to the broader surroundings I always have this fear that something bad will happen. Clearly it does and will. Collisions with stationary objects, swimmers, boats or other bikes will never have a happy ending. Parents please dont allow your kids to operate these water missiles unsupervised.  If they are old enough make (ie of legal age) make sure they have and wear the right gear, have the proper training in controlling the bike, can identify and appreciate the risks and avoid or minimise them.  Importantly they must also be familiar with the laws governing the operation of watercraft at planing speeds and above. Almost every weekend I watch very dangerous maneuvers and breaches of the law – they are common place.

    In doing so we might not be regarded as the coolest parents but we might save yourselves or others from a life a heartache.  

    My sincere condolences the family of the young man who died so tragically. 

  21. Anonymous says:

    Such horrible news. I  pray for his loved ones, friends & family. He who feels it knows it. I pray that everyone commenting will be sympathetic to this young man’s faily & friends by not being insensitive…regulations or not when death comes it hurts all the same. We have traffic regulation sand it does not prevent road tragedy so when something like this happens lets pray that the family has the strength to make it thru the difficult times ahead and let pray that it does not happen to another young man or woman.


    RIP Mark, may the angels guide you and stand beside you.



  22. Wings, Like Arms, Spread Wide says:

    My condolences go out to the family and friends. Thankfully, no innocent bystanders were injured.

    • Anonymous says:

      My condolences to Mark’s family.  RIP Mark.

      On another note I would like to comment on how these youngsters handle these waverunners.

      I was at Rum Point on a Sunday a few weeks ago and had gotten off the tour boat I was on to enjoy the coolness of the sea.  A group of teenagers were on waverunners and apparently had not a clue how to control them as I was run into by a teenage girl on a waverunner and while yelling at her I had to push the waverunner off me.  She seemed pretty upset to be told off but did nothing about keeping her distance. These kids were in the middle of about 40 people in the water and seemed not to care about the people in the water as they rode the waverunners.

      Shortly after that a teenage girl mounted a waverunner ridden by a teenage boy and as he accelerated she was thrown from the back of the waverunner.  She was very upset about the whole ordeal.

      Perhaps the marine cops could take a more indepth look into who is handling this particular kind of watercraft as many times I have watched people almost get run over and the majority of the people handling the watercraft are intoxicated by alcohol or high on marijuana. (You can smell it in the air amongst the boats at RumPoint)

      Why is it that somewone always has to get seriously injured or killed before the authorities will act on anything?



  23. Anonymous says:

    rip mark… we will  miss you

  24. It was coming says:

    While I am sorry for the individual the time has come to act to stop the fools that threaten other people’s lives for fun.

    The idiots on waverunners are more likely to kill an innocent person in the water than themselves.  We need strict regulation of where and how fast these killing machines can go, licensing, AND LICENCE FEES THAT COVER THE FULL COST OF EMERGENCY SERVICES.

    • Anonymous says:

      You should be careful what you say. You don’t know if the person’s mother or some other family member may be reading this..


      Just remember that this could have been someone close to you and you would want to see these kind of comments.




  25. Mattew Manyete says:

    Pray for the young men of Cayman.  Something is not right.

    • Anonymous says:

      Young men are (and will be) young men. In order to temper the spirit of young men to help them become older men, older men (and women) have come up with a set of rules. One of them is "though shalt not exceed 5kts within 200 yards of shore". The older men (and women) then rely on others (including the police, the Attorney General, etc…) to enforce the rules. When no-one enforces the rules adequately despite probably hundreds of complaints, or the effect of such limited enforcement as may have taken place does not serve as a deterrent, young men have a tendency to behave (you guessed it!) like young men.

      The result can be tragic. This is truly sad.