Divers rescued

The Joint Marine Unit rescued two
cruise ship visitors and their dive instructor after the divers became
separated from their dive boat and were found struggling in rough waters
outside the reef Tuesday.

Police said that at about 11.40am
Tuesday, they were informed that two divers from a cruise ship and an
instructor from a company called “Living the Dream” were missing.

The group had been diving in the
North Sound area near Stingray City when the two men and one woman became
separated from their dive boat.

Dive boat staff raised the alarm
when they realised three divers were missing.

The Joint Marine Unit immediately
deployed Niven D, captained by Senior Police Constable Hugh Bush.

Within minutes, the Marine Unit
crew spotted the missing divers approximately 200 yards outside the reef in
extremely rough water, about a quarter of a mile from their dive boat.

Officers brought the divers – a
32-year-old man, his 22-year-old wife both from Arizona and a 33-year-old dive
instructor – aboard the Niven D and transported them back to shore where they
were checked out by paramedics.

“Thankfully, none of the divers
were injured,” said Inspector Bennard Ebanks, the officer in charge of the
Joint Marine Unit. “They were all understandably very tired; the sea was rough
and the swells were about 5-6 feet in height; fighting those kind of waves
would sap anyone’s strength.

“The dive company did exactly the
right thing by raising the alarm as soon as they realised that something may be
wrong. Their quick thinking combined with the fact that we were able to deploy
so quickly most likely saved the lives of the divers today.”

The couple had been visiting the
island on a day trip from a cruise ship. “They were both left extremely
traumatised by the ordeal but are very grateful to everyone involved in their
rescue,” Inspector Ebanks said.

The Joint Marine Unit comprises
officers from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, Customs Department and
Immigration Department.

divers rescued

The rescued divers aboard the RCIPS craft Niven D. following their rescue on Tuesday.
Photo: RCIPS

1 COMMENT

  1. Good job to the Marine unit from the RCIPS. Now why where you so close to the channel when the winds are from the north. and the tied is going out????? Jut a quetion. I’ve done this for over 14 yrs. And I have had the same problem you have had. BUT. I got lucky. And got my people back on board. Log this in your book and remember that stuff happens. Stay close to the reef& far from the channel. Just some good advice from a old sea fart that’s been there.

  2. There was a small watercraft warning in effect the day of this accident and no one had any business taking tourists or anyone else out on a boat. The owners of this business should be charged for endangering lives and they should also have to pay for the Marine Unit rescue. This is just the type of event that will add to our tourism woes. Another commenter on this article and said he had the same problem but got "lucky". Then he goes on to say next time avoid the channel! The only way to avoid this is to stay ashore when it is clearly too dangerous to go out. There were white caps within Governor’s Harbour so it was very evident what conditions would be like in the sound. Maybe SRC and the Sandbar should be closed by the police whenever there is a watercraft warning is in effect. Was it worth it – Living the Dream Divers?

  3. What a pity the divers and dive operator were not using the ‘Seasafe’ Lost-Diver Alarm and Tracking system. Within seconds of the divers pushing a button the dive boat would have been alerted that they were in trouble and within 5 minutes they could have been recovered. Would have saved a lot of time and RCIPS resources and kept the egg off the dive operators face. This technology has virtually been mandated for use by all dive operators in the Red Sea.

Comments are closed.