Pedro drowning ruled as misadventure

Man went to ‘catch snails’

A Filipino who went to Pedro Bluff on New Year’s Day 2007 to ‘catch snails’ was swept out to sea by rough waves and drowned.

After hearing details of the death of Jesus Imperial on Monday, a Coroner’s Jury returned a verdict of misadventure.

Queen’s Coroner Margaret Ramsay-Hale read most of the witness statements to jurors, explaining that three of the persons were Filipinos who had returned to their country.

Giving their statements through an interpreter, Rodrigo Tagay and Aklexberto Gegante said Jesus invited them to catch some snails (whelks) on the shore near Pedro Castle around 3.30pm.

When they got there, Alexberto thought it was very risky. Rodrigo just held on to the rocks ‘because I am afraid that I might drown.’

But Jesus was picking up snails with one hand and holding a plastic bag in his other hand. Suddenly two big waves hit him and he was pulled away by the strong current.

Alexberto ran to a nearby house to call for help. Then he ran back to the shore with a rope, but could not find Jesus. Meanwhile, Rodrigo stayed on shore, trying to keep Jesus in sight. Jesus shouted for help and said he was getting tired.

Help arrived quickly, and rescuers found Jesus in about five minutes. Efforts were made to revive him and he was carried to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

His brother Abad identified him and explained that Jesus, 49, was the eldest of 13 children. He had come to Cayman in 1999.

A resident in the area, Mrs. Nancy Harris, said her home overlooks Little Eden Point. She said a lot of people go there to fish. The water currents can be rough and a number of persons have been swept off the rocks on occasion. In December and January the water surge is very rough. Waves rising seven feet over the rocks are common at this time of year.

On New Year’s Day she was home when she heard someone yelling ‘Water, water!’ After questioning him, she learned that someone was in the water and every time he was close to the rocks he was dragged back out. She phoned 911 and her husband went to the scene.

The coroner called government pathologist Dr. Shravana Jyoti to explain terminology in the autopsy report written by another pathologist, Dr. Bruce Hyma.

Mr. Jyoti confirmed that wounds and lacerations on the arms and legs were consistent with being swept out to sea and back against the rocks. Increased fluid in the lungs and brain, along with congested internal organs were findings that led Mr. Hyma to conclude that drowning was the cause of death.

A resident in the area, Mrs. Nancy Harris, said her home overlooks Little Eden Point. She said a lot of people go there to fish. The water currents can be rough and a number of persons have been swept off the rocks on occasion. In December and January the water surge is very rough. Waves rising seven feet over the rocks are common at this time of year.

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