Police reveal death of another visiting diver

| 04/06/2015 | 13 Comments

Coboalt Coast dive area(CNS): A 53-year-old man visiting the Cayman Islands from Clearwater, Florida, died while diving in West Bay almost one week ago, police have now revealed. John Michael Killanin was in Grand Cayman participating in an annual dive event known as Inner Space, police said, when he got into difficulties on the morning of Friday 29 May and became the ninth visitor to die in local waters this year. 

Officers from the RCIPS Joint Marine Unit are now investigating the man’s death.

An hour into the dive Killanin reportedly experienced difficulties with strong currents, off Cobalt Coast, and was assisted to the surface by his dive buddy.

The distressed diver was said to be unconscious as he reached the surface and dive personnel present assisted with CPR.  He was taken to the shore, where he was met by an ambulance and taken to the George Town hospital, where he was pronounced dead by a medical doctor around 12:40pm.

Killanin had arrived in Cayman on Saturday 23 May and is the ninth person to lose his life at sea in the Cayman Islands this year, including 47-year-old Norman Lee, who is presumed to have died while snorkelling but whose body has never been recovered. An American comic artist, Lee went missing off the coast of the Reef Resort in East End in March.

The oceans victims were all visitors to Cayman but the first person to be killed at sea was a Cuban migrant. Manuel Marino-Rodriguez (51) drowned on 3 January when the vessel he was in capsized in rough waters off the coast of South Sound.

An 88-year-old male cruise ship visitor from the Ukraine died on Seven Mile Beach on 12 January, and just two days later a 63-year-old man visiting from America died while snorkeling in East End. On 26 January a 71-year-old snorkeller also drowned off the east coast near to Morritt’s. In February a 60-yearold man from Florida died following a dive on Little Cayman. In March a 70-year-old diver from Texas died following a dive off Seven Mile Beach and a 62-year-old man from North Port, Alabama died during a dive trip off Lover’s Wall in East End.

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Comments (13)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What with the ocean deaths lately? Especially divers? Looks like Govt need to increase and enforce better safety. They got the dive industry like a Disneyland attraction with too many of these so-called “one day” lessons.

  2. Sharkey says:

    Anonymous, 06/06/2015 11:24 am. What I am saying about the release form with the simple questions, is that if the dive operator knew that one has taken a medication that would and could cause his or her death while diving , and refuse to take him or her diving for that reason, I think that saving someone life is much more important than having the release form to defend the dive company that has lost a other diver through neglect .

    • Anonymous says:

      and heis saying there are already in place and people lie on them and say they are not taking medication. So do now want dive operators to hook people up to lie detector test will filling in the form?

      You can add all the addtional forms you wnat but people are still going to lie on them so they can go dive

    • Anonymous says:

      This practice is already done. There are waivers and medical forms already. It’s up to the diver to be honest and to make their own informed decisions.

  3. Sharkey says:

    Maybe a release form that everyone has to read and sign before going diving, with some simple and basic questions, like have you taken any medication in the last 24 hours, if yes , what kind, and last dive date, and age, and so on . Then these release forms must be reviewed by someone that knows what these medications would cause , if they can be mixed with diving before the boat leaves the dock . This is why you see the F.D.A. puts warning on drug labels.

    • Anonymous says:

      release forms and waivers are standard procedure before anyone gets on a boat or rents a tank. most people return it clear. they want to go diving. they are not going to cause problems for themselves. but after an incident and the additional investigation it is used to prove the person lied about their health and usually helps clear an operator that was not at fault

  4. Anonymous says:

    It may be discrimination but can’t the Government prevent tourist over the age of 50 from going on these diving events/excursions?

    • Anonymous says:

      over 50. lol. you are obviously a youngster. a 98 year old lady just ran a marathon.

    • Jane says:

      Ignorance and stupidity should be part of the 7 deadly sins.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m sure that is directed at 4JUN 8:53PM wanting to have the government restrict divers over 50. Yes, a bit ignorant.

    • Anonymous says:

      I was still solo diving and doing 200’+ air dives when I was 57. However, at that time I weighed 150lbs and didn’t even start to break into a sweat carrying two 80cf tanks a couple of hundred yards.

      As soon as I realised that level of fitness was starting to tail off I stopped diving and that’s the key – know your limitations. Too many divers simply don’t recognise when it’s time to quit or at least back off. I’ve dived with people who took half a pharmacy with their lunch but had declared nothing on the medical declaration and I’m certain every divemaster/instructor on these islands can tell similar tales.

      At the end of the day it’s all about being realistic. We all get old and the impact of this on some is more than it is on others. You simply can’t legislate against anyone’s desire to ignore that fact.

      • Rod says:

        or just slow down, quit trying to be “the guy” and just enjoy the scenery. We now fall off the boat, sink and we don’t try and range out as far plus we have accepted the fact we’re old and we don’t try and keep up. Our heart rates rarely exceed 110

    • Anonymous says:

      So basically shut down the diving industry of the Cayman Islands is what you are saying. “It may be discrimination” but you want to do it anyway?

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