Helmet diver is dead

A man who was on what’s known as a helmet dive Monday was pulled unconscious from the water near the Royal Water Port in George Town and rushed to hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

RCIPS officers

RCIPS officers speak with the Sea Trek boat captain after Mondays attempted rescue. Photo: Brent Fuller

The American man, in his early 60s, was on a dive with his son. Both men were stay over visitors in Cayman and had other family members with them on the trip.

It’s not certain what happened during the dive, but crew members aboard the Sea Trek Cayman Islands charter boat said the victim did not regain consciousness at any point.

Helmet diving lets participants descend to relatively shallow depths wearing a mask, which allows them to breathe while walking along the bottom of the ocean floor. Generally, helmet divers are lowered on a line wearing the breathing apparatus over their head and are kept under the strict supervision of the dive boat crew at all times.

No diver certification or swimming ability is required for a helmet dive.

The dive boat crew described conditions near the George Town harbour as good, and said they were not sure how the man had gotten into difficulty.

The death is the fifth fatal watersports-related incident to occur on Grand Cayman so far this year.