A heroic helicopter rescue saved the lives of two young boys who were washed off the Pedro Castle bluff Thursday.
Battling strong winds and hovering dangerously close to the rough surf bashing against the jagged rocks of the Pedro cliff, Cayman Islands Helicopter pilot Jerome Bigot performed some excellent manoeuvres for officers to pluck the two brothers and their father from the raging waters.
Spectators watched the desperate struggle to save the family as police, fire, port officers and the pilot carried out the rescue operation.
The incident happened when the family, visiting the island from Missouri, stopped in at the Pedro Castle gift shop.
The two boys, Dillon, 12, and Joel Sandhu, 10, had ventured down to the cliff to get a closer look at the sea when they were washed away.
The father watched in horror as a huge wave snatched the two from the ledge they were standing on.
Owen Ryan, who was also visiting the castle, said he saw when the father ran down to the cliff to look for the boys. He immediately ran to his car for a pair of flippers to jump in the water, but the father donned the flippers and jump in after the two boys.
He said the three struggled against the raging waters until DOE officers showed up with life vests and ropes.
Arriving on the scene Chief Marine Enforcement Officer Ladner Watler said he immediately assessed the situation. With the help of fire officer Duronnie Myles, who jumped off the cliff with life vests and ropes, Mr. Ladner said he left to go get a boat.
The four desperately tried to stay afloat for the arrival of the Harbour Patrol and the helicopter.
With the assistance of fire officers the two boys were pulled up by the helicopter and landed safely on the castle grounds where they were met by their mother and paramedics.
Besides receiving cuts and bruises the boys were OK.
The father and officers who had jumped in to help the three were later picked up by the Harbour Patrol.