Elderly snorkeler dies off SMB

A 72-year-old American visitor died after getting into difficulty swimming along Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach Monday.

Royal Cayman Islands Police said the man, who was not identified, was reported to be in trouble in the water just after noon Monday.

He was brought ashore by other beach-goers who tried to revive the elderly man with CPR, police said.

The man was taken to the Cayman Islands Hospital where he was pronounced dead later on Monday.


  1. I am saddened to hear another person has lost his life in the beautiful waters of the Cayman Islands, and I give his family my deepest regards .
    But I still have to believe that together we all could make a difference in preventing a lot of these tragic deaths from happening . As I read the article and what the Police said , it sounds as if the gentleman was out swimming by himself .
    What if the Hotel had lifeguards on the beach . What if the accommodations had a way to get to the guest to warn them about the dangers of swimming alone . Or the Hotel /Condo could make sure that certain or all of the guest are aware of the safety of wearing a life vest while doing water activities . And warnings posted at front desk of these accommodations . But it seems that there are no concerns about the guest safety at all .

  2. Is any Hotel Condo or anyone doing the above suggestions in my comment to try and prevent any tragic death from happening ? I know that heart attacks can happen to anyone at anytime, but if when that happens and the person got immediate help there’s a possibility the person life could be saved . But not if the help got to him too late .
    I would love to hear from you that disagreed with my comment and why . Maybe I would learn something. But until then I would believe that enough is not being done to help prevent some of these tragic deaths to our GUEST / VISITORS TO OUR ISLANDS that maybe not as familiar with the water /ocean as we are .

  3. LONE SNORKELLING IS DANGEROUS, unless the snorkeler is warned about the hazards of CO2 build up in the snorkel. I lived in Phuket (Thailand) for two years where there was also a high incidence of lone snorkelers dying. Two years ago I rescued a lone snorkeler off 7 mile beach at Governors. He was a 52 year old perfectly fit and healthy chap (I asked him all the relevant health questions – my background is nursing). He was a good swimmer and regular jogger. He claimed he suddenly felt dizzy and was about to pass out. I believe this also happened to Andrea – one of the fittest girls in Cayman. Luckily there was a buoy close by for him to hold onto and call for help… without that he probably would have drowned. The dive shops that rent out the snorkelling gear need to warn people of the dangers of CO2 build up as this is not common knowledge to the average person. If they are to snorkel on their own to regularly clear the snorkel with ‘fresh’ air. Perhaps putting signs up in the shop or stickers on the snorkel itself would help educate people of the potential dangers.

    I’ve taken a quote from someone who’s written extensively about it:

    “A snorkel increases the dead air volume that already exists in your trachea and mouth where no O2 exchange can occur. So the greater the colume of the snorkel, the greater the increase in dead air space.

    Snorkel design is a compromise. A longer tube neams more dead space as does a larger diameter tube. So lenght and diameter involve trade offs. You want the end to stay above water, but anymore than that increases dead space. A narrow diameter tube has less airspace but also increases inhalation and exhalation resistance, so tube diameter is compromise between ease of breathing and greater dead air space. The valves requires in dual channel snorkels are again a trade off as they create resistance. There is no free lunch with a snorkel

    Also as indicated above, breathing as deep as possible to decrease the ratio of dead to active airspace is your approach to reducing CO2 build up what ever snorkel you use.

  4. Roscoe , I have to almost completely disagree with the faulse advise you’ve gotten . The only thing that make any sense is your explanation of the dead air in the snorkel not been cleared out . That’s caused by someone not getting good instructions on how to clear the snorkel the proper way . I don’t think that there’s anyone on the Cayman Islands that have done more snorkeling than I , and here I can tell you and the advice that you’re completely wrong on your snorkeling and CO2 you have said in the comment , You should learn how to clear the snorkel properly to avoid CO2 and O2 build up in your snorkel that causes you to inhale too much CO2 that make you panic and drown. Or stop using 2ft snorkel that you can’t clear of the CO2 and O2 .

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