Police investigate North Sound death

Investigators with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service are looking into whether negligence played a role in the death of a cruise ship passenger in the North Sound three days after Christmas.

A 55-year-old American citizen, Louise Gales, was pronounced dead at George Town Hospital Thursday, 28 December, after suffering difficulties on a snorkeling trip with Frank’s Watersports.

According to a printed statement from the RCIPS Marine Unit released to the Compass this week, Mrs. Gales was taken back onto the snorkel tour boat before the RCIPS and Cayman Islands Department of Environment officers responded to the scene.

Marine Unit Inspector Brad Ebanks said some of the tour passengers attempted CPR, but were not able to revive Mrs. Gales. None of the tour boat’s crew knew CPR, according to Mr. Ebanks.

‘The situation was compounded when the captain of the vessel was unable (to) get the engines started,’ said Mr. Ebanks in the statement.

Police and DoE officers had to put the victim onto another craft before taking her to Morgan’s Harbour, where medical crews took her to George Town.

Mr. Ebanks said the incident was being investigated by both the RCIPS Marine Unit and The Criminal Investigations Division ‘to determine cause of death and if there was any negligence in part by the tour operators.’

The Compass contacted Frank’s Watersports owner Frank Ebanks last week. Frank Ebanks said he was not on the tour boat when the accident happened, but that he understood Mrs. Gales had gone too far out and became tired while snorkeling.

Mr. Ebanks’ wife said the business had contacted an attorney.

Mrs. Gales was from Louisiana and had come to Cayman with her family on the cruise ship Carnival Valour.