Seven rescued in boating accident

Four adults and three children were rescued from a watercraft that ran into the South Sound reef Saturday evening.

All seven people on board the 26-foot watercraft, the Rock-n-Roll,  were brought back in to the South Sound dock unharmed but somewhat shaken by the nearly two-hour ordeal.

“We had two kids on board who couldn’t really swim, they had life vests on and everything but if there were big swells out there we could’ve been in trouble,” said Gordon McLaughlin, one of the passengers on the boat. “Luckily, it was calm.”

At around 9.15pm, Marine Unit officers had safely gotten the boaters aboard the police search craft Typhoon and were bringing them in to shore.

The individuals, who ranged in age from 59 to 10, were not hurt in the incident. The craft belongs to Leighton Rankine of Grand Cayman who was aboard at the time of the accident. The four adults and three kids left on a fishing trip at 3pm Saturday and were coming back in around 7pm when the accident happened.

Mr. McLaughlin said he and Mr. Rankine, his uncle, headed back out to the reef Sunday to try and dislodge the craft from the reef. The craft was freed later in the morning.

Officers with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Marine Unit were at the scene of the boat accident which occurred just after 7.30pm Saturday.

The accident was reported by one of the adults on board the stricken watercraft who called 911 on their cell phone.

According to Mr. McLaughlin, the boaters were thrown off by the buoy markers near the South Sound reef. He said the buoys were lit on the inside of the reef, but not the outside.

“They need to fix the markers at the reef, they outside markers are not lit up,” Mr. McLaughlin said. “Trust me, they’re going to kill somebody out there.”

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