Elizabeth Jane "Liz" Cain is an Australian former pair skater and current figure skating coach.
With brother Peter Cain, she is the 1976 World Junior bronze medalist and four time Australian national champion.Their highest placement at the World Figure Skating Championships was 12, in 1977. They competed in the 1980 Winter Olympics, finishing eleventh. She is the mother and coach of Australian national champion Sean Carlow.
On 28 March 2007, Cain and several members of the Australian figure skating team were in a small boat in Sydney Harbour near the Harbor Bridge when it collided with a ferry. Cain lost her leg in the accident, which has become known as the Sydney Harbour Bridge Ferry Disaster. However, her life was saved by her son, who jumped into the water and held her until rescuers could arrive. She has since returned to coaching. Due to her accident, she wears a prosthetic leg.
FIVE months after she lost her lower leg in a Sydney Harbour boating tragedy, former Olympian Liz Cain is determined to skate again.
Cain has returned to coaching, aided by a prosthetic limb and a walking stick.
She considers herself fortunate to have survived the collision between a pleasure craft and an off-duty HarbourCat ferry. But Cain still carries the memory of the four members of Australia's skating fraternity who died when a night cruise turned to tragedy.
"I feel like I'm the lucky one," she said. "They were really good friends. We all remember them every day. It's never out of our heads."
Cain and 11 others were aboard the 10-metre Merinda when it set out from Drummoyne at 7pm on March 28 to cruise the harbour. Cain's husband, Peter Lynch, owned the boat and is believed to have been piloting it.
At 10.50pm, when it was under the Harbour Bridge, the wooden pleasure craft collided with the HarbourCat Pam Burridge, which was carrying no passengers.
Cain's left leg was severed, mid-shin, on impact. An unconscious Cain was thrown from the boat and rescued from drowning by her son, Sean Carlow, 22, the senior men's figure skating national champion.
Four passengers from the pleasure craft died in the collision - world championship judge Simone Moore, 44, NSW Ice Skating Association president Dr Alan Blinn, 47, an unnamed Frenchs Forest man aged 45 and rising ice-skating star Morgan Innes, 14. Cain was mentoring Innes towards what the skating community hoped would be Olympic glory.
Speaking for the first time since the accident, Cain said the tragedy had affected the skating community across Australia.
She suffered memory loss of the night, relying on family and the loved ones of other victims to answer questions and aid her emotional recovery.
Winter Olympic Games
World Junior Championships