May 8, 2021

UPDATE: Another water related death (8th) in the Cayman Islands this year!

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From RCIPS Wed Apr 1 2015 6:11 PM

It is with regret following the death of a 62 year old American national on Tuesday 31 March 2015 that RCIPS make the following statement and add clarity in the wake of a misinformed blog which appeared in the local media and has proven to be distressing to the family and in its parts, untrue.

Victor Crawford a resident of North Port, Alabama, USA arrived on Grand Cayman on Saturday 28 March 2015. He was aboard a local charter vessel Cayman Aggressor 4, in a group of 18 divers on a weeks’ dive.

In the dive area of ‘Tunnel of Love’ East End, Mr. Crawford entered the water around 10:45am but on the group surfacing [divers] he was not seen and a search commenced. A request for assistance was done via VHF marine radio and a dive boat operated by Ocean Frontiers, Nautical Cat responded to the call for assistance. Around 11:53am the deceased was located floating face down in the water and was pulled onboard the vessel Nautical Cat, he was transported to the dock of Ocean Frontier, East End.

An ambulance was called at 12:00pm, responding from George Town, arriving at 12:42 pm. Mr. Crawford was examined by EMTs and found to be clinically dead by examination and verifying that there was no cardiac activity using an ECG monitor. This was reported to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) physician at the George Town Hospital. The ambulance as is normal policy was released for continued emergency deployment.

A funeral home was contacted and the body later transported to the George Town Hospital – this is a correction previously stated that the body was transported by ambulance. There a physician certified death.

Contrary to what was reported, uniform officers remained throughout awaiting the arrival of the undertaker when the body was handed over. The police were reported to have left the scene, this related to one officer taking two witnesses, including the captain of the dive boat, away in order to provide statements for the investigation. I reiterate two police officers remained with Mr. Crawford throught-out the time, until his body was handed over to the undertakers at the scene. Mr. Crawford’s body remained on the boat and was covered out of respect.

Blogger Stephen Broadbelt – following the news release erroneously wrote, certain information that caused great distress to the family of the deceased and due to the sensitivity of this incident, RCIPS will be following up on the erroneous reports. The RCIPS has assigned a family liaison officer to the family of Mr. Crawford who will assist them on Island during these during these difficult times.

Detectives from the Professional Standards Unit (PSU) interviewed Mr. Broadbelt today and he admitted to officers that he was not present, nor did he personally witness what he reported on in his blog. He went on to say, that he was stating what was told to him by others. That approach I regret, has caused added distress to the family and damage to the Cayman Islands and its emergency services.

Further Enquires continue into the circumstances of Mr. Crawford’s death and a file is being prepared for a coroner’s enquiry. In addition to – investigate, who provided misinformation that led to Mr. Broadbelt blog.

Condolences is expressed to Mr. Crawford’s family.

EDITOR: – The RCIPS in the above release refers to a blog from Stephen Broadbelt found on the CNS website. The CNS blogs states you must ” include your email address in the form below if you are using your real name.” As the blog was published with his name the blogger must have left an email address and CNS also says “All comments will be moderated before they are published.” In view of this and the RCIPS serious accusation we are publishing Stephen Broadbelt’s blog in its entirety:

“Stephen Broadbelt says:
31/03/2015 at 9:53 pm

For the record, as a representative for Ocean Frontiers- An Ocean Frontiers dive boat responded to a call for assistance via VHF radio from another dive company’s vessel. The missing diver was found not breathing and unresponsive on the surface. The diver was pulled on to the boat and returned to the closest dock where Emergency Services could reach – at Ocean Frontiers dive shop in East End.

The ambulance took over 1 hour to arrive on the scene and even after 911 was called, they called back to ask if we were sure and did we really need an ambulance! To make matters worse, after the paramedics had assessed the body, they confirmed he was dead, got back in the ambulance and left, without the body.

What happened next was even more shocking – one police car left the scene, followed by the other. The poor man’s body was just left on the back of a dive boat in the hot sun, with not authorities present. What happened to the chain of custody over a dead body? Shouldn’t the cause of death be established before leaving the the body behind or handing over to a funeral home? In the end, our dive staff couldn’t wait any longer and moved the body in to the shade. About 30 mins later a funeral home vehicle arrived and took the deceased.

To say the least, we were shocked and deeply disappointed with how the emergency services handled this accident. We don’t know the details behind the cause of death, but know that nobody deserves the lack of respect and dignity that we witnessed today.

To hear that the emergency services rushed to the scene and took the person to hospital is a lie. I don’t know where CNS got this report from- but it is far from factual.”

“CNS: Our information came from the RCIPS” To read the blog on the original website go to: 

Worse was to follow as the next blog was from Brooks Crawford who said:

“Mr Broadbelt, this man was my father and after hearing this I’m pretty angry, confused, and saddened by what has happened. I’m not sure what to say other than I hope that you can get into contact with me about this.

CNS: I have sent you an email. Please let me know if you did not receive it.’


From RCIPS Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 5:40 PM

Water Related Death – East End

At 11:55am Tuesday 31 March 2015, a 62 year old American male diver was reported to uniform officers as missing. He was diving off Lover’s Wall in East End, with others, but on surfacing the male diver was not seen. Assistance was requested via VHF radio and another Dive Boat, Nautical Cat, responded and a search conducted.

At 12:25pm the diver was located, and taken to the dock at Ocean Frontiers, East End where he was met by paramedics and transported to the George Town Hospital, there he was pronounced dead.

The visitor arrived on Grand Cayman on Saturday 28 March 2015 and lived In North Port, Alabama, USA.

The circumstances is being investigated by officers from RCIPS Joint Marine Unit.


EDITOR: this is the SEVENTH water related death this year involving tourists and the eighth if you add  Manuel Marino-Rodriguez a Cuban migrant who drowned on 3rd January when the vessel he was in capsized in rough waters off the coast of South Sound.

Norman Lee (47), an American comic artist also went missing in East End while snorkeling off the coast of the Reef Resort at the beginning of March. His body has never been recovered.

Others were:

12th  January an 88-year-old male cruise ship visitor from the Ukraine died on Seven Mile Beach.

14th January a 63-year-old man visiting from America died while snorkeling near to Morritt’s Tortuga Club, East End.

26th January a 71-year-old snorkeller from Minnesota drowned near to Morritt’s Tortuga Club, East End.

22nd February a 60-year-old man from Florida died following a dive on Little Cayman.

19th March a 70-year-old diver from Texas died following a dive off Seven Mile Beach.


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