50 years ago: Kirk C lost, crew safe

In the Oct. 4, 1967 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, the following story appeared on the front page:

“It is good to be able to report that the Captain and eight other members of the crew of the Kirk C were rescued by a Cuban fishing vessel and taken to Havana.

“A telephone call by His Honour to the British Consul in Havana established that all nine men were safe after having been in the life boat for 34 hours.

“Unfortunately, the Kirk C was lost, having been wrecked on the Campeche Banks while sailing from Progresso, Mexico, to Campeche. The centre of Hurricane Beulah passed 30 miles from the position of the Kirk C when she sank.

“Her Master, John Buckley, is from Utila but is a U.S. citizen, one crew member is from British Honduras and six from Spanish Honduras. Keith Walton, Chief Engineer from Cayman Brac, was the only Caymanian member of the crew. The latest report is that the men will be flown from Havana to Mexico and thence to their homes.”

The same edition includes the following front page report, titled “More jets this season”:

“There is evidence to suggest that we shall soon not only require more car parking space in the centre of town but also more parking space at the airport for the increasing number of planes which are expected during the coming season.

“In addition to BWIA, LACSA and CBA scheduled flights, Pacific Western will be starting its charter flights on Nov. 10. This year, they will be using a Boeing 727 jet aircraft. The visitors from the Vancouver area will be staying at the La Fontaine Hotel.

“Galleon Beach and Coral Caymanian Hotels have signed agreements with a private airline for charter flights every two weeks from Dec. 15 and this airline will also be using 727s with seating capacity for 110 passengers.

“These plus private planes and unexpected flights will tax our parking space to a maximum and we express the hope that they don’t all decide to arrive on the same day.”

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