Cudjoe Key, Florida (high 82, low 72)
We always have fun in Key West and since we moved to Venture Out, we’re pretty close and go down often.
It’s was always a fun place to be, until last night.
We got there about 7pm, parked by Mallory Square and walked over to where the Catman performs with his trained cats.
I’ve resisted his shows because I worry about the cats jumping through fire hoops. I’ve also seen him carrying the cats in cages on the back of a scooter or bicycle and I didn’t like that.
Anyway, our friend Heidi who is also an animal lover said his show was great, he obviously loved his cats and they were well treated. We decided to give him a chance.
We watched him set up, then go get his cats. Maybe it’s just us, but we thought it was a tad boring. The rest of the crowd appeared to love the show. He had some sort of thick foreign accent and we had a hard time understanding him.
We didn’t wait for the fire rings because we were getting bored.
Maybe when you have cats that make you do tricks, you don’t need to see more.
Oh wait, his CATS DID THE TRICKS? Ours just make us do their bidding. :)
We left before the fire ring started.
Everyone was on the pier enjoying the beautiful cool evening and waiting for the sunset, which turned out to be a bit of a bust.
The usual boats are parading back and forth in front of the sun.
The street performers are drawing crowds.
This guy was on a tall unicycle while juggling fire.
At the time I took these pictures, little did we know that there was a horrible scene taking place right behind him.
Mallory Square is where the cruise ships dock when they are in port. It’s at least 6-10 feet down to the water depending on the tide.
As we walked along, we heart some commotion and when we looked over the edge, we noticed a woman in the water, fully dressed.
The current was ripping due to the full moon. I quickly looked around for a throw rescue ring. There were none that I could see. She was hanging onto a ladder, but I was concerned she would tire and get swept away. She yelled that she could not swim in the strong current. By the time I glanced down again, she was holding onto someone who was trying to pull her up. No one had jumped in to help her.
I remember thinking, he was kind of scrawny and no way would he pull her up.
Fortunately, he did. It turned out the guy was her boyfriend. She told me he looked her in the eye and told her to hang on. He then proceeded to pull her right up to safety. Thank goodness. At this point, we thought she must have just fallen in. She had on a skirt, not really the type of attire you would choose for an evening swim.
We found out later that she had jumped into the swift moving current to try to rescue another man.
A few minutes later she was wandering around by herself in a daze and on the verge of tears. I went over to try to comfort her. By this time, we knew the she had gone in to save someone else and he had likely died. She kept saying, “no one would help him.” Bless her. She risked her life to try to save someone else. She told me she saw him have a heart attack. I don’t know if that was what happened for sure, but I imagine it’s possible because he was a heavy set man and probably over exerted trying to swim or get up the ladder.
We just happened to be near several people who witnessed the accident. We were told two men decided to take a swim. Al saw the bearded guy swimming in the water. His friend was very heavy set and he is the one that needed to be rescued. We don’t think he survived, but we don’t know for sure.
Somehow, someone got him out of the water and they performed CPR on him until the paramedics arrived and they took over CPR.
We witnessed a little of the frantic and rough CPR, all the while hearing his wife screaming and crying. It was a sad situation and many of us were in tears. My nurse friend has told me how bad CPR is and that it’s not something you want to have done. We discussed this in regard to our elderly parents.
We saw the ambulance rush away, but we have little hope that he survived.
Hopefully, since CPR started right away he can be revived, but we wondered how long it took to get him out of the water.
We imagine alcohol was involved and some macho male behavior.
This sign is painted all along the waterfront.
Many people were walking around unaware of what happened. The party continued, but it was over for us.