Christian Sorensen, a businessman who designed and operated the Crystal Caves tourist attraction in North Side, was found unresponsive at his home in George Town and later pronounced dead on Dec. 23. Mr. Sorensen was 53 years old.
The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service confirmed Sunday that officers and emergency personnel responded to a report of an unconscious male at an address on Palm Heights Drive in George Town. Police confirmed Mr. Sorensen’s identity in a press release Wednesday, and said a post mortem had been scheduled. The matter remains under police investigation.
In an earlier press release, police said foul play was not suspected.
According to the Crystal Caves website, Mr. Sorensen’s father Ole Sorensen and his family developed the highly successful Harrison’s Cave in Barbados. Mr. Sorensen conducted a survey of Cayman’s caves in the early ‘90s and found that the Old Man Bay caves were unique and laden with historical significance.
Mr. Sorensen told the Cayman Compass in 2016 that he was born in Denmark and left at age 8 to live with family in Barbados. Mr. Sorensen studied in the United States and opened a manufacturing company that he subsequently sold, and then he set about trying to recreate his father’s work.
“I wanted to return to the Caribbean,” he told the Cayman Compass. “And I thought perhaps another tourist attraction could be duplicated in Cayman, as all caves are unique.”
Following Mr. Sorensen’s death, Moses Kirkconnell, Cayman’s deputy premier and the minister of tourism, spoke about what he meant to the community.
“Mr. Sorenson was a trailblazer in the tourism field and pioneered the establishment of Cayman Crystal Caves, one of the most popular land based attractions in Grand Cayman,” he said in a news release.
“Having worked closely with the government of the Cayman Islands since the late 1990s to create a unique, dynamic ecotourism site in North Side, Chris demonstrated a passion and commitment to growing the tourism marketplace for the betterment of our people, employing many locals to work the site, from development to tour guides.
“He will be remembered fondly as a visionary who exemplified delivering Caymankind to all those who visited his world-class caves. On behalf of the Cayman Islands Government and the Tourism industry, we offer our sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time.”
Mr. Sorensen moved to Cayman in 1995. He spent the years from 1997 to 2011 purchasing land and building an access road to his caves. He began work on the cave exhibit in 2012 and fully opened the Crystal Caves in March 2016.