Two Dock Workers Dead in Boating Accident in St. Kitts & Nevis
An accident involving a cruise ship and a launch boat at Port Zante pier left two dock workers dead last week.
St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA) linesman Rudolph “Tuster” Dowell of Ponds Extension and Horsford and Co. Ltd. employee Maxwell Browne were in a launch boat that capsized in the berthing area of the cruise pier around 5pm.
Browne was at the time captaining the vessel that took Dowell out to release the mooring lines attached to the dolphins for the Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas cruise ship’s 5pm departure.
Somehow the vessel reportedly got pulled under the currents of the huge liner as it pulled out from the pier and both men disappeared under the water. Coastguard and crews from both the Independence of the Seas and Celebrity’s Silhouette searched the area for about an hour before the bodies were retrieved and taken ashore.
Both cruise ships left hours after, one departing as late as 9pm.
Radio talk shows were inundated with calls the next day, with members of the public claiming SCASPA had “mishandled” the situation by allowing the cruise ship to leave that night.
On Thursday Minister of Tourism and International Transport Sen. Richard Skerritt, along with SCASPA Chairman of the Board of Directors Carol Evelyn and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Bass told the press they could not answer any questions about the incident as it was still being investigated.
Skerritt said he spoke with RCCL’s and Celebrity’s owners in Florida following the accident on Wednesday, who have pledged to cooperate with local authorities in the investigation.
“They have pledged to do all they can to assist local police with the investigations related to this horrible incident,” he said.
Video footage from the Silhouette’s security cameras “will be made available by early next week for review” by the local police, Skerritt informed, and cruise and maritime officials are expected to visit St. Kitts within a few days.
“I am also aware that the masters of both ships have already emailed their written reports on the incident. Two maritime safety officials of the RCCL and owners of the two cruise ships are expected to arrive here within the next few days to assist police and maritime officials with the local investigation,” he said.
He said details of the investigation into the mooring mishap would be released as they become available. SL Horsford and SCASPA have extended condolences to the families of the deceased.
Source: The St. Kitts-Nevis Observer