Jazz Drummer Vanishes On Diving Trip
Rescuers are searching for a 57-year-old jazz drummer who went missing during a diving trip in the Cayman Islands on Sunday morning.
David Byles was swimming back to the Sunset Divers boat with his wife, Rita Byles, when he disappeared from view about 100 yards away from the vessel.
The North Carolina couple were enjoying an organized dive at the Barracuda Wall off Seven Mile Beach when Byles vanished.
Cayman 27 reported rescuers immediately launched a search for Byles, a trained diver, but didn’t find anything until Monday morning.
Police divers retrieved the man’s buoyancy control device (BCD), regulator and tank about 120 feet below the surface at the Barracuda wall dive site.
Later in the afternoon, an article of his clothing was found at 135 feet deep at the same site.
The Pilot.com reported the Byles’s, who don’t have children, are trained and certified divers who ‘loved’ diving. They had both dived in the Grand Caymans before.
Byles works in telecommunications sales and plays drums for various bands in the Pinehurst community, including Ad Nauseam, House Call, Jazz Kings and the Sandhills Community College jazz band.
Byles also played professionally with Herbie Hancock, WNCN reported.
The Byles’s are also members of Trinity Christian Fellowship Church. Sr. Pastor Al Hill said Byles is chairman of the church council, while his wife is the church’s office administrator.
‘All of us here at Trinity love David and Rita, his wife,’ Hill said. ‘We are in shock.’
He said a church pastor has flown to the Cayman Islands to support Rita Byles as rescuers search for her husband. The search resumed at 8am this morning.