Woman visitor dies after West Bay dive-trip

| 03/02/2012

(CNS): A 47-year-old American tourist has died while diving off North West Point, police reported Friday morning. In the second dive related death of the year police said that around 9.30 am this morning the woman was diving at the Little Tunnel Dive site. As she ascended the female stay-over visitor appeared to get into difficulty and, on surfacing, lost consciousness. Staff from the dive company she was diving with, Red Sail Sports, administered C.P.R aboard the dive boat as they brought her to shore to meet with the emergency services. The woman was conveyed to the Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town, where she was found to be dead on arrival.

Police said enquiries into the diving related death are on-going and the identity of the woman has not yet been revealed.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If a person dies on a golf course they dont mention it as agolfing death. why then is every person that dies after a dive refered to as a diving death. some are some are not.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I find it interesting that the cause of death with this particular incident has not been released yet everyone is discussing it as a diving accident. The veteran local diver who passed away recently suffered a heart attack on the boat while drinking tea. This is hardly a diving accident. The tourist diver encountered difficulty. Other than that, we don't actually know anything at all about what happened so why all the comments about the safety of the dive industry?

    If I drop dead right now of a heart attack they aren't going to call it an email related death are they? Chalk it up to another death while emailing. Someone better look into the safety of emailing in the Cayman Islands because too many people are dying while emailing. Ridiculous right? 

    The fact is that most "diving deaths" are in fact heart attacks. If you want to start talking about limiting what people who have risk of heart attacks can do.. let's set up medical waivers in the Wendys and Burger King. "I would like to have a Baconator please". "I"m sorry sir but are you medically fit to eat a Baconator? I wouldn't want you to have a burger related death now. Please sign this form."  

    Yes, there are some inherent risks to scuba diving but statistically speaking a diver is lesslikely to have an accident than a bowler. And, stats wise, there are less deaths here CAUSED by diving than there are driving deaths. Everyone should just relax, and perhaps even go for a dive to find out what it is all about before they post blogs about the safety of an activity they don't even participate in. 

    In a free society we have freedom of individual choice. That means that we have a personal responsibility to make informed decisions about all kinds of risks. We have to decide for ourselves whether or not we are comfortable with the level of risk a particular activity entails. If we make the wrong decision and have a heart attack, that shouldn't turn into a witch hunt looking for who else to lay blame on. Scuba is a recreational activity. No one is forcing people to dive. It is their choice and trust me, the waivers involved are very clear about providing enough information with which to make an informed choice. 

    End of story.


  3. Anonymous says:

    There are old divers and bold divers–but no old bold divers..Diving is inherently dangerous, and most people over 40 should not be doing it because they are not fit enough.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you telling me to give up my job as scuba instructor with logged 6,000 dives??? I am over 40 years old! These people should look after their own health and not blame on instructors or dive centres. Crossing busy road is worst and killed thouasnds people a year yet nothing to report in media press. Diving is the safest sport to do.

      • Anonymous says:

        No, I am telling you that diving is inherently dangerous. It's possible you are fit and lucky and will survive til you're 100, or you may die unexpectedly. If you are telling your clients that diving is perfectly safe, you are lying.

    • Anonymous says:

      And should those over 40 stop exercising, stop driving and stop doing anything else 'inherently' dangerous? Most ridiculous post ever …

  4. Anonymously IRON CLAD says:

    To add a suggestion here, I would ask that the Govt. instates a law/regulation where tourist  over a given age who are coming to the Cayman to dive, are expected to have a medical checkup and certificate to present to authorities or the dive operator being hired before any dives are allowed. If the person(s) choose to dive without dive instructors, then any such accidents or deaths would be announced as being done 'outside the law/regulation'. If the would be diver(s) are resident individuals, then the same medical checkup/certificate would be required locally.

    Just a thought.

  5. Peter Milburn says:

    Wanted to add that there is another aspect that most of us look at before taking someone out and that is their body wgt.Several times I have turned down a diver(s)because they are way to overweight and I know several other operations do the same.Not always does this mean that they are out of shape but just to be safe I do turn them down.Not saying that this happens daily but there are times when one has to say no.Its not all about $'Its all about safety.




  6. Peter Milburn says:

    Just wanted to add my condolances to her immediate family.Unfortunately this does happen but then again so do people in car accidents etc.One of the main things that we all face in the dive industry is the fact that not all divers are honest about a medical condition that they have.When they fill out a liability/medical form provided by most if not all dive operators they just tick the no box all the way down so even though they may be suffering from say asthma they do not tell us and when a problem arises the dive guides cant always pin point what has caused the problem in the first place.Its not an easy job but I must say that in my honest opinion Cayman has one of the highest safety records in the world considering how many divers pass through the islands.We have very competent dive instructors and all dive boats carry the needed safety equipment for such emergencies.All divers that come (certified)must have their dive cards and I for one(am sure everyone else does too)ask when last they were diving wwhat gear do they have etc.Anyone not doing a dive within 18-24 months of their trip here must do a refresher course either BEFORE they come down or when they arrive.With the advent of the internet you can quite easily check online to verify someones certification just in case they did not bring it with them but that is very rare.As far as the weather conditions that is a judgement call re currents etc.The wind does not affect diving quite as much as say the Sand Bar snorkle trips as we mostly dive on the lee side of the island where it always calmer.

           I hope this will help with any questions anyone may have and if I have left anything un-answered you can contact me directly at my cell number 9160814.We can only make it as safe as we possibly can but accidents can and will happen.


    • Loopy Lou says:

      The death rate from diving acidents is a disgrace to Cayman and far worse than driving so the "people die driving" point is inane.  The number of deaths should be public and given to tourists but it is not becuase it will get in the way of making money.  The rate of deaths at US dive resorts is far far lower.

      • Anonymous says:

        What a ridiculous comment. In what way is this a "disgrace to Cayman"? How is Cayman at fault? What are the US vs. Cayman statistics that you are comparing?  

      • Duh! says:

        And you know for a fact both that diving is more dangerous than driving (not that comparing an every day activity that is virtually an essential part of modern life with a recreational sport that people choose to do for fun is a reasonable comparion), or for that matter that diving death rates at US resorts are far lower?  Please cite your sources, or I am afraid I and any other reader are likely to think that your pen name is far from accidental.   

      • Peter Milburn says:

        Thanks for your input Loopy Lou.The name says it all.

      • Alan Nivia says:

        There is a lot of denial about this truth in Cayman.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I have noticed a trend in terms of the age of the diver. Perhaps previous medical ailments prevailed and perhaps there should be more stringent rules with the dive masters to ensure dive visitors safety. I am NOT saying that anyone is responsible for these deaths. The reality is that as an adult over the age of 18 is basically partcipating in a water sport "at your own risk". Just throwing it out there…

  8. Anonymous says:

    Condolences to the family of the departed, RIP. Every time we are made aware of another dive death, there are blogs expressing a general !!!!???? about the frequency of such accidents. I recall that there were not as many dive accidents 20 years and more ago when diving was BIG in Cayman and Caymanians were BIG in diving. Sure, easy to say, "DUH!, it's more divers now than 20 years ago". WHOA! hold that! I don't know, I'm not in diving but I would bet we have LESS divers now than then (it would be good to hear what diving industry insiders and stats say). Note I say divers, not 'people diving'.

    I don't know the facts of this case and I know the death after diving 2 weeks ago was a veteran resident diver, but I often wonder about how many are veteran or experienced divers and how many are not. Again, I'm not a diver but I wouldn't say I'm experienced once I get my certification, or any time shortly thereafter. It's no different than getting my driver's license or pilot's license – experience comes with experience!  How many of these victims are "excursion-divers" – Flash-certified just for a vacation experience? I'm just saying.

    So, apart from other verified physical causes of death while/after diving, relative inexperience could be a contributing factor to the increased number. Inexperience could also be present in the management of the actual act of diving – not necessarily the technical capabilities but the judgement and savvy to be able to know how to protect some people from themselves. 

    I know a veteran, well-respected Caymanian dive operator who blogs here regularly, who can enlighten us with his knowledge. Speaking of which, to my knowledge, he has never lost a diver.




    • Anonymous says:

      To summarise your blog you suggest a Caymanians dive operation will be a safer bet than non-Caymanian. What rubbish! No you are not an expert. You aren’t even qualified to post here.

  9. Anonymously IRON CLAD says:

    Perhaps it's time to 'dive' a little deeper into these diving-related deaths. Don't know… I just feel that there are too many in the Caymans.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am not sure what you are implying. Are you saying that perhaps the staff of these dive operations are not trained? Are you saying that perhaps foul-play is involved? I am not sure what you mean by time to dig a little deeper because there are too many of these diving deaths happening in the Caymans. 

      I personally believe that a lot of people come here wanting to dive but have not gone through the required training or they have some health condition that they do not make known so whose responsibility is it to check/confirm these things? 

      Something as simple as having a cold can affect your dive. 

    • Anonymous says:

      There's no such place as the Caymans, just like the Virgins or the Channels, this is the Cayman Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman Islands not Caymans

    • Anonymous says:

      it is not just cayman where there is death from diving. In cayman papers they don't print any news from overseas as they don't care. There are about 90-100 people died from diving worldwide per year, out of million people who dive. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I hate when I see a North American call our country "the Caymans".  Ignorant. We are THE CAYMAN ISLANDS.

  10. Anonymouse says:

    Very sad to hear. Unfortunatly the strong winds did not help. Too many visitors die that way and it's time that proper advisery is provided. From the Ship's staff to properly be advise on radio stations as conditions change from whithin half a day sometimes. strong winds and currents make it difficult who only dive occasionally or are unfit.