Car takes early morning sea plunge

A car drove off the road, careered through the bush, landed on the ironshore and plunged into the sea near Mr. Arthur’s store on the George Town waterfront Thursday morning.

The man driving the Mitsubishi Lancer was not hurt in the accident, the Royal Cayman Islands Police said.

Officers responded to the crash around 8 a.m. after the driver lost control of his vehicle while traveling along North Church Street, police said. The vehicle came to rest in shallow water opposite the intersection with Bodden Road.

Herbert Henningham, the driver, said the accident happened when he and a co-worker were heading to work. Mr. Henningham said a car in front of him “braked sharply.” He said he tried to brake to avoid hitting the other car, but his brakes failed and his vehicle careered out of control into the sea.

“The car was just slipping and sliding on the rocks,” Mr. Henningham said. “I couldn’t control the steering, there was no brakes.”

While this was happening, Mr. Henningham said he shouted to his friend in the car, “wha’ happening, wha’ happening?”

“When I see the car heading into the water, all I could say was ‘Lord, have mercy on me,’” Mr. Henningham said as he stood on shore, talking with officers about how to remove the vehicle from the water.

He said he climbed out the driver’s side window after the crash because the door jammed and the air bag had also deployed. His co-worker managed to get the passenger door open and they both walked to shore. Mr. Henningham said he can’t swim.

A grabber lifts the car from the water as firefighters and tow truck staff look on at the harborfront in George Town, Thursday morning. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

Spectators passing by stopped to watch crews removing the car from the water.

Theodore Kelly of 24/7 Towing Road Assistance said he had to “figure out the math” to keep his truck from tipping over while he attempted to pull the Mitsubishi out.

“It’s all in a day’s work,” Mr. Kelly said. “It’s the joy of the job – never the same, every day there is a new challenge. At the end of the day, it will be done, just have to work the brains a little bit more … what’s more important is to get it out safely without incident.”

The vehicle was removed from the water about 10.20 a.m. Thursday morning.