American visitor dies off Public Beach

| 31/03/2016 | 34 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS) Updated Friday: Police officers and emergency services were called to Public Beach in West Bay Thursday afternoon regarding a report of an unconscious man in the water.  The man, who has now been named as Yanbin Liu, a visitor from the state of North Carolina, was transported to the Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town, where he was pronounced dead just after 1:10pm.

The 43-year-old man is the fourth visitor from the United States to die in Cayman waters so far this year. Joseph Dieschbourg (65) from Illinois died on 20 January after snorkelling off Cemetery Beach in West Bay. James B. Campbell (65) from Kentucky died 16 March after scuba diving off the Sister Islands. And one week ago onThursday, 24 March, Delmer Nelson (79) from Illinois died following a snorkelling trip in George Town harbour.

In addition, a group of three local men and two children went missing Sunday, 28 February, and are presumed dead.

There were a total of 15 deaths last year in or on the water off the Cayman Islands.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    After reading the sad account by the family member it sounds like less attention should be paid to watersports industry here and a bit more focus paid on the Caymankind the family experienced from the health care industry on island. How horrible to be treated like this. My condolences to the family.


    • Island girl says:

      I agree Isme and I also feel very sad for this family.

      Perhaps it is time to have at least two life guards on duty from sun up until sun down (at every public beach) as well as first aid kits at every life guard station including a defibrillators for anyone who may suffer a heart attack. I would also strongly recommend the government offer free first aid/cpr classes monthly so that we empower citizens to help save the life of others if necessary. Even if the paramedics take longer than expected we should have the resources to help each other, just saying…

  2. Anonymous says:

    Whilst I agree that we can’t prevent all tragedies from happening, I do agree that considering the thousands of people we have hitting the beaches every year through the cruise ship industry alone, it is time to consider whether first-aid-stations should be set up at a couple of spots on the most frequented beach areas. This is done for big festivals around the world and other high frequented tourist areas, so why not do it in Cayman on 7 mile beach. One ore two would be sufficient and they wouldn’t need to be open 24/7 but at times when the most tourists are anticipated to be on Island.

    People can be treated for minor injuries there and someone would be closer by in case of emergencies which require immediate CPR. It is a win/win for everyone involved so not sure why people would be against something like that.

    In regards to the comment someone made indicating a rapidly declining safety standards in the water industry area I totally agree. I don’t even know what the process is to become a water sport operator etc. We clearly also have people working in that industry who could care less about our environment. A while back I noticed a “party” boat in Rumpoint loaded with tourists who went snorkeling and clearly nobody had advised them that standing on top of the coral wasn’t the way to go in order to catch a breath! I had to swim over and tell the folks and they claimed they weren’t made aware. I believed them. One look at the captain of that boat was sufficient for me…………

  3. Dong says:

    I am the Yanbin’s brother in law. My name is Dong. When my sister returned, she looked 20 years older than 1 week ago. She could not talk much and could only cry. Now surrounded by people who are kind, helping, loving, and caring, my sister is ok enough to tell what happened. Yanbin was a regular swimmer with basic skills. He often swam 20 laps in the swimming pool. In that day, the family of 4 people disembarked Carnival Glory cruise and visited 7miles beach. The wife and two daughters (15 and 5.5 years old) didn’t want to go to swim and asked him to not swim either. He just wanted to swim for a short time and within 30 feet away from the shore. He rented a snorkeling gear (a tube and a mask) someplace at the shore. The sea was calm. The reef was only 10 feet away from shore, and only about 10 feet to 30 feet wide. The water level to reef top was about 5 feet in depth. There were quite a few people snorkeling in that area. It seemed to be safer than in swimming pool. So, Most people did not bother to wear life jackets. A gentleman was swimming near Yanbin with his daughter who happened to be 5 year old also. He told me that his daughter did not wear life jacket either. In the first 10 minutes, Yanbin swam in the 10 to 30 feet away from shore and seemed to be happy. Less than 5 minutes later, the wife noticed that he was further away, so she asked the 15 years old daughter to call her dad swimming closer. The 15-year-old daughter called another person closer to him to call her daddy back. When that man yelled for help, the wife and 2 girls panicked and yelled for help. Several people swam to him to help. One tourist who was a nurse organized three people to perform CPR on Yanbin. They kept doing it for 30 minutes until the ambulance arrived. The wife and 2 daughters were put in a second ambulance because that the wife was not allowed to be with the patient in the first ambulance. In the waiting room, the wife was asked to register first. She had cruise card but did not have credit card with her. She gave them the cruise card and begged them to save him first. When they were told the heart broken news. All three of them were totally devastated. When the boat arrived in Miami, the wife was so weak that she could not walk. After they came back, we are overwhelmed by the support from neighbors, friends, and his company’s help. His company, B/E Aerospace, sent two people to escort the wife and 2 daughters from the boat all the way back home. Two friends drove over 1 hour to the airport to pick them up. When they arrived home, friends already prepared dinner and next breakfast. In the second day, they got so much food/fruit from neighbors and friends that the fridge was full. There is a long list of people taking turns to cook meals for them daily. Neighbors helped mowing the lawn, taking off garbage, etc. Yanbin’s friends set up a donation account in The two girls are surrounded and occupied by their friends. They get so many hugs and encourages that the 2 daughters begin to trust people again. It is that they were in heaven in one minute, and then fell down to the ground the next minute. Fortunately the helping hands created a safety net so that they could have a chance to bounce back to life. It would be a long process and only God and time will heal their deep wound.

    If you were there helping saving Yanbin, we would really like to thank you. If you witnessed the process, or were on the cruise, we would like to hear from you. It makes us get the feeling that it is real and not just a nightmare. It would be a big step forward to the acceptance and healing process. Please contact us at

    Dong 4/6/2016

    • Anonymous says:

      Dong my thoughts and prayers are with your family at this most difficult time. I hope that in time they find peace. They have been through a traumatic ordeal no doubt made worse but the long response time for the ambulance and the response of the hospital staff which can only be described as shameful. May he rest in peace and the family in time comforted by the presence of loved ones and their memories of him. I’m so sorry for your loss. From Canada.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am a friend and neighbor of Youbin but I knew him as Robert. If he had received proper medical and emergency care he would be alive today and his wife and daughters would not be suffering. Shame on Cayman Island for not properly staffing their beaches with emergency equipment. Shame on them for responding so slowly to an emergency and shame on the horrific uncaring doctors at the hospital who were more interested in texting than in patient care!

    • Brion says:

      Hello we are the Millers from Sanford NC we were on the Glory with the family. We wasn’t there when the accident happen but we’re on the ship. We met the family in the photo area and was really in deep thought and prayer for them. The wife was just in a state of shock and the girls were crying and we felt so sorry and helpless to try to help deal with there grief. We tried to console them and gave the wife a little cash to try to help with there expenses We felt a the loss with them and think about them daily even now. Our hearts goes out to them. And we keep them in our prayers. God always has a reason that we will not understand here but someday we will. In our hearts and prayers. The Millers

  4. Anonymous says:

    I was on the cruise ship this gentleman was on. The family was very distraught and his wife could not stop crying. Grand Cayman was the last stop on the cruise. He had children and other family members with him. The captain had to escort thr family off the ship today. She couldn’t even stand on her own leaving the ship. 43 is young and there are many factors that could have played a part in this death. Very sad for the whole family.

  5. Eddie Morales says:

    Me and my family were present on this beach at the time of the event, it took almost 30min for the local paramedics to show up, in a public beach this size that receives thousands and thousands of tourist each week and there’s not even 1 lifeguard or any emergency facility to attend or prevent this kind of events, really disappointed from local authorities , this man was with his wife and 3 kids, snorkeling and all the sodden this happened to him. my condolences to his family.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wow why is everyone jumping on the guy who talked about getting a safety assessment? Everyone is entitled to their own viewpoint and should be able to express that and have a discussion without being viscously attacked. No one is saying you have to agree, but you can disagree respectfully instead of with such contempt. I’ve always taught my children that they should have their own opinion and that they can disagree with me . . . But they must do it respectfully.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why are they attacking him? Because of the need to silence anyone pointing out the death rates in Cayman and the fact that the Government refuses to protect visitors properly because it might cost local business money and them votes. 60 Minutes would have a field day.

    • Regina says:

      One of the biggest problems faced is truthfulness by those participating in water sports particularly Scuba. People lie about their last dive, number of dives even incredibly if they health concerns including asthma!! No op wants to lose a guest, no DM wants to be spending hours agonizing over whether or not they did everything they could to keep someone alive. I don’t think more policing will help. No government official knows more than what is required by professional associations such as PADI that set the international industry wide guidelines. People have to follow the guidelines and be healthy as indicated by same guidelines. With regard to snorkeling it is basically swimming with some gear and I cannot see how that could or should be policed by anyone except the individual him or herself

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’m the poster who has suggested that safety standards in local watersports industry may have declined over the past 15-20 years. An independent review of all watersports and dive operators’ training and safety procedures and published findings thereof would satisfy my mind. If this has to be undertaken by Government at my cost as a taxpayer, then so be it.

    Ultimately, my income from the tourism industry could be negatively impacted if Cayman gets a reputation as an unsafe watersports destination.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where in this report does it say that this man was with a watersports company?

    • Anonymous says:

      You are right. As long as the Government allows operators to have wide waivers of liability for their negligence causing personal injury or death then the huge death tolls in Cayman’s waters will stack up year on year. A simple bar on such waivers has been standard in England for nearly 40 years now. But everyone knows that the industry is owned by voting locals and the Government would rather non-voting visitors died unnecessarily than impact the profits of businesses owned by voting families.

    • Anonymous says:

      he was simply out swimming in the water by himself. didn’t involve any watersports company .sometimes things just happen

      • Anonymous says:

        The family was on a cruise, so assumingly they were with the company provided through the cruise line

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, he was given the gear by some dumbass native on the beach trying to make some money. If the government had bothered to make some kind of law that made these “equipment lenders” check their eqipment before lending it, or maybe even ask the consumer if they know how to use it before selling it to them.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What has happened is very unfortunate.
    There are a lot more people in the world than there were 50 years ago or so.
    Not only that, our stressful way of life, our poor diets and lack of exercise mean that we have a lot more of this to look forward to.
    Many of us are the blink of an eye away from a heart attack, stroke, aneurysm etc because of the way we live.

    This is not a rehearsal.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Had he been diving? Was he snorkeling? Any indication to what happened. 43 is young

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you read the article??????????????????

      • P&L says:

        Yes… but it doesn’t specify what he was doing… So it’s a fair question.

        • Anonymous says:

          He was snorkeling, even though he doesn’t know how to do it. He was simply trying something new for fun, but the people who sold the gear to him didn’t bother giving him directions. Healthy young people don’t just drown. There must have been something wrong with the equipment.

    • Anonymous says:

      He was a passenger on a Carnival cruise ship. I was on the ship with his family.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Condolences to another family.

    A response to my post a few days ago indicated that it is merely my perception that watersports-related deaths have increased significantly over the past 15-20 years, in comparison to the number of watersports clientele. I would challenge that responder to suggest that to the grieving families. That time-frame is roughly coincidental with the changed demographic of watersports industry ownership/staffing.

    There NEEDS to be a assessment of safety training and procedures undertaken by watersports companies. There are simply TOO MANY deaths in that industry.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you will find tourist arrival figures have also gone up over the past 20 years. So the number of deaths will surely increase too dufus!

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is not good one bit. Too many people are dying on our beaches. Something needs to be done and FAST before more people die on our Beaches!

    • Anonymous says:

      2:56 Like what? Ban people from going into the water? These incidents are all very sad and I know from personal experience are traumatic for the families but the harsh reality is we all have to go sometime. You can’t legislate or regulate against nature and anyone who tries is an idiot.

      I worked in one of the mostly tightly regulated watersports areas in the world and it still didn’t stop deaths occurring. One of my colleagues lost a 42-year-old student on a confined water dive in a sheltered location not more than 20 yards off the beach. Two days earlier she’d had a full medical exam including a chest x-ray and an ECG but she died of a heart attack.

      At the end of the day we are talking about adults making adult decisions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Like not letting old and or unhealthy people go in the water?? Or maybe we should just ban US visitors?

      …Seriously get a grip! People die, always have and always will. At least these lucky folk got to pass in some of the most pristine water and on the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean Sea. I can think of worse ways to go.

    • Philip says:

      So what do you propose we do about it?, request a full medical from all tourists before immigration will clear them?, why should it be our governments responsibility to do anything about this, just take a stroll around George Town on any given cruise ship day and you will clearly see many folks that are not what any doctor would call healthy.
      This happens every day all over the world, google how many people die each year at Disney resorts as an example, unfortunatly it make the press here due to the small size of our community.

    • Anonymous says:

      Then stay out of the ocean. The news report states that the man was found unconscious in the water , he was not found unconscious on the beach . The location just happened to be at Public Beach . Possibly you meant that too many people are dying in our sea ? Or you miss-read the news article …
      But if you stay out of the sea & people continue to succumb to heart attacks & pulmonary medical conditions on dry land , you will say that ‘ Too Many ‘ people are dying on our dry land and something needs to be done quick , before more people die on our Dry Land !!!

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