Elderly US visitor dies after snorkelling off West Bay

| 07/02/2014

(CNS): A 64-year-old American tourist died on Wednesday afternoonafter getting into difficulty while he was snorkelling with friends off Cemetery Beach, West Bay. A spokesperson from the RCIPS said that Richard Chaput, from Libertyville, Illinois, was snorkelling with two friends while his wife stayed on the beach. At about 2:15pm he seemed to be having some difficulty and he and his friends headed back to shore, but before he reached the beach he apparently lost consciousness. Chaput's friends shouted for help and several people who were on the beach came into the water to help. He was brought ashore where members of the public and two fire officers from the West Bay station administered CPR until the arrival of the paramedics.

Chaput, who was vacationing in the Cayman Islands with his wife and friends, was conveyed by ambulance to the Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Police enquiries are ongoing but there would appear to be no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

Mrs Chaput is anxious that the RCIPS should pass on her thanks to the many people who assisted her and her husband on the beach on Wednesday.

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  1. Claire says:

    My sincere condolances to you all. I recently helped rescue a middle aged gentleman, with no medical problems,  while snorkelling on 7 mile last month. He claimed to be a perfectly good swimmer and was very relaxed before he felt like fainting. The prevalence of this happening all over the world is a huge concern. I'm wondering if it's due to a relaxed calm snorkeler may not be expelling the carbondioxide (CO2) through their snorkel, given the lenth of the tube and hence inhaling air saturated in CO2… Over a relatively long period of time this will cause loss of consciousness. I've sent letters to various water/swimming organisations regarding this matter, with no response so far. Perhaps snorkelers should be warned to clear their snorkel every few minutes or so. Tests need to be carried out to confirm this, but it does offer a plausible explanation. 

    • Rick's Daughter says:

      I understand your concern, but he passed away from a heart attack. He was cleared by his Dr. To take this trip! ….. When it's your time, it's just your time….. We are very sad, but can't thank the locals enough for their efforts to save his life! ….. He was a confident swimmer and snorkeler. It was a sudden and unexpected event. He enjoyed his trip while he was alive! I've never seen him smile bigger!

  2. Greybeard says:

    I don't want to trivialise this sad event for the late person's family and friends… but can we not attach meaningless labels to people in 'news items'? You might well have said, 'Person with receding hairline..' or 'White-haired, slim-built…'

    64 is elderly? No, 'Elderly' is a state of mind.

    Condolences to those who knew this guest on our island.

  3. Anonymous says:

    uncle rick, you will be missed!

  4. Anonymous says:

    again?? another elderly person snorkel death? is no one in the Tourism Industry the least bit concerned?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank you from the family for the sweet condolences! This is a very sad time for the family.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sooooo 64 years old is now the new elderly? Condolences to the family.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a petty, petty  comment.  Talk about selfish and insensitive.    Reading this story and THAT is your only comment?  Pathetic.   

  7. Ed says:

    Elderly?  64!  Piss off!

    • Anonymous says:

      Someone dies tragically and that is your contribution? Great big Cayman Heart I see. Not.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, that is relatively elderly.  Way to trivialize a story with that comment.   

  8. Anonymous says:

    Rest in Peace and God Bless your family at this difficult time. Well done also to those who assisted.