Teen was Bonaventure resident

| 30/11/2015 | 7 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands Hospital, George Town

(CNS): The local teenager who lost his life in the sea on Sunday was a resident of the Bonaventure Boys Home in West Bay, officials from the Ministry of Community Affairs, Youth and Sports have confirmed. The 14-year-old boy was on a group trip organised by the home when he got into difficulties in the water behind South Sound cemetery. The police are now investigating the youngster’s death and his family have been informed, the ministry said Monday in a release.

“To ensure the integrity of the RCIPS investigation, the ministry and the home are fully cooperating with the RCIPS and will refrain from making any further official statements until the conclusion of the investigation,” officials said. The minister with responsibility for youth and community affairs, Osbourne Bodden, also offered his deep condolences to the young man’s family over the loss of their child, a release added.

However, concerns were raised Monday by other youth community groups and by sources close to Bonaventure, suggesting that the adults supervising the youngsters on the trip were not able to swim, and also noted possible issues at the home.

The only facility on the island for teenage boys who are at risk or in need supervision, it is often overcrowded and there are fears that plans for a centre for young offenders and youngsters at risk have been abandoned. Youth activists say that this leaves a significant gap in the care of young people who may not yet have been given a custodial sentence by the courts but who are vulnerable and in danger of falling into the criminal justice system.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday the education department issued the following statement:  “The Ministry of Education, Employment & Gender Affairs and the Department of Education Services offers our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the 14-year-old resident of the Bonaventure Boys Home who died in a water-related incident on Sunday 29th November, 2015.  This young man was also a student at the Clifton Hunter High School (CHHS).
This is of course a very difficult time for the CHHS community and as a result, a counselling team is providing support to the staff and students of the school.”

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Comments (7)

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  1. Concerned Caymanian says:

    If the supervisors themselves could not swim why would they take the youth on a fishing trip? This is just not wise and shows irresponsibility and lack of good judgement. Secondly do field trips need to be approved and if so why weren’t safety precautions ensured upfront for this trip such as can you swim, here are some life vest, do you have training in cpr etc? It’s one thing to have your child taken from you and placed in a facility but it’s another thing when that same facility that is to protect them is negligent and your child dies as a rest of it. Praying for his family and hoping someone is held accountable for this.

  2. From a Mother... says:

    The death of that young child deserves more than an apology and condolences to his family. A child is dead and never know what it is to enjoy life as an adult. As a mother, there is no pain as deep as the loss of a child. As for CAYS Foundation, the Board, the Management and the Ministry of Community Affairs ( that is, the Government) should be sued and the Board and Management should be removed effective immediately!!!

    The reason the boy is dead is simple bad management through a lack of knowledge of the Cayman Islands as the majority of the employees are non-Caymanians. CAYS Foundation employees are primarily prior domestic helpers and security guards, or in some fortunate incidences untrained Child And Youth Workers who had menial jobs with the Department of Children and Family ( formerly Dept of Social Services). I bet if Caymanians found out that it was a black, probably Jamaican, who can’t swim and should not have been taking any child swimming and definitely not to South Sound – there would be an outrage! The reason they are so quiet is that they think it was some white, superior, foreign employee.

    Despite receiving over $2 million from the Government and Private Sector donations, there are still advertising for Youth Therapists with a qualification of a GED or High School Diploma and 1 years experience and paying close to $3,000 a month – with health and pension paid!

    Shame on you CAYS. Shame on the Board for not setting strategic goals in the quality and type of staff that need to be hired to address the issues faced by at-risk children. Shame on the Government for keeping in place a Board that is ineffective. Shame on us Caymanians for not caring.

    Compare the amount of blogs this story and the 80+ grandmother getting burglarized to the amount of blogs about Jeff Webb and Prisoners having phones and smoking ganja – you decide the type and quality we have become.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Another lawsuit in the making. A clear case of negligence.

  4. firstly my sincere condolences to his family.South Sound where they were in the water has some very strong currents running through there and if one is not aware of this it can be trouble.I am hoping that the powers that be will erect a sign WARNING would be swimmers snorklers about this current One thing for anyone caught in a current such as this DONT fight it to get back to where you started out go with it and get to shore a bit further down stream in other words head to shore gradually.Again my deepest sympathy to his family and friends and may he rest in peace.

  5. Anonymous says:

    My condolences to the family faced with this tragedy. As for the “Home” I wonder if the boat was equipped with safety flotation devices? Youths at risk tend to be highly impulsive, unpredictable and up to a dare. Very difficult to control. A sad story any way you look at it.

  6. 345 says:

    Just sad, all the way around.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sad, worst the supervisors couldnt swim and south sound is a very dangerous place to swim in bad weather like this. RIP

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