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Rescue kayak stationed at Spotts Beach

Relatives of one of last week’s drowning victims are using that tragedy as inspiration to help swimmers in Cayman’s waters and help prevent any more loss of life.
Cayman 27’s Philipp Richter met up with relatives of Steve Rule, the Ohio man who drowned last Monday (12 February) at Spotts Beach.
They say they’ve teamed up with residents at nearby Coral Bay Village to try to increase water safety.
“I felt like it would be necessary to have some sort of a means to save somebody and time is critical when someone is out on the ocean drowning, you have to get to them right away,” said brother-in-law of Mr. Rule, Ben Minton.

It’s in this vein that Mr. Minton, brother-in-law of drowning victim Steve Rule and residents of Coral Bay Village have joined hands to form their own rescue team, complete with a kayak, life jackets and a life wring to save those in the water.

“Rather than just jumping in the water by themselves, it empowers people to save people and that is the whole idea, at least it gives you a fighting chance to save somebody and that’s all we want to do,” said Mr. Minton.

Mr. Minton said he was there when Mr. Rule got caught in a current and panicked, which lead him to his trouble in the water.

“I was there and I actually swam out there with him, told him about the dangers, but I also brought him in, helped bring him in, there were two other snorkelers out there that helped and I want to take just a minute out to thank them and anyone else who was involved in the attempted rescue,” said Mr. Minton.

Neighbor Jeanria Conradie called 911 when she heard the cries for help.

“It is horrific just knowing that these waters in which we have fun in every day is so dangerous as well and I don’t think everyone is aware of the danger of the beautiful blue waters that we live by,” said Ms. Conradie.

Resident Keeble Knight said also helped bring Mr. Rule out of the water, he also rescued a woman from the waters of Spotts beach in 2016, he stressed the importance of this initiative.

“So for me it’s a good aid because every time I come out on that balcony, I am looking out to see if somebody is in trouble because I am always ready and waiting to help when there is a situation that presents itself,” said Mr. Knight.

Mr. Minton delivers this message said his wife and her family were grateful for the outpouring from the community following their loss.

“She says she really appreciates the people of Cayman who wrapped their arms around her, gave her love and prayers during that time, I just wanted to share that with you, she was very appreciative to the people of Cayman,” said Mr. Minton.
Residents of Coral Bay Village cannot emphasize water safety enough, Mr. Knight encourages people that are caught in a current to just go with it instead of fighting it and Mrs. Conradie hopes that safety information will be provided to tourists in the airplane before they land.

The rescue kayak is stationed at Coral Bay Village. It is dedicated to Greg Powell and Mr. Rule, both men lost their lives while swimming in the waters of Spotts Beach. The boat is a part of a plan by residents to take matters into their own hands to protect those swimming in the water.

A memorial service for Mr. Rule will take place this Saturday (24 February) in Ohio.

About the author

Philipp Richter

Philipp Richter

Philipp Richter was born in Austria and moved to the Cayman Islands at the age of three. Throughout his life, he has always enjoyed documenting his surroundings with cameras. Studying television broadcasting and communications, he now can show the reality of life in Grand Cayman to the public.

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