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Questions raised about fatal boat accident

port zante pilot boat accident ships

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN):  The small vessel that capsized Wednesday night claiming the lives of the two men onboard had clearance to pull away from the berth, according to SCASPA’s Corporate and Public Relations Office.

WINN FM made the query in the wake of the publication of a CCN Ireport that, "Eyewitnesses suggest that a Cruise Liner may have pulled out, “before the men had enough time to clear the berthing area.”  The Ireport, published on Thursday and quoted in Cruise Law News, claims that as a result of sea currents created by the ship, the smaller berthing boat capsized and the men were apparently sucked below the water.

The Ireport says that a member of the crew on the Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas Cruise Ship, said the small boat was capsized when the cruise ship’s rear azipods pushed it away from the dock.  He is reported to have said that the two men were thrown overboard and never resurfaced, that only one had on a life vest, while the other man's life vest came off when he was thrown into the water.  The capsized boat is said to have then been pushed into the back of the cruise ship Silhouette. 

The bodies of SCASPA employee Rudolph Dowell-Daniel of Ponds Extension and Maxwell Browne of New Road, an employee of Horsfords, were retrieved by local divers from the water in the berthing area were the vessel capsized. 

The boat, piloted by Mr. Browne, was owned by Horsfords and was contracted by SCASPA to transport Mr. Dowell-Daniel, a linesman with the Port.

SCAPCA’s procedure dictates that there is a scheduled time for a ship to leave port.  Once that arrives, a pilot goes on board and takes the ship out of the harbour and hands over to the captain. The linesmen assist in the process by releasing the lines from the mooring points.

Transport Minister Richard Skerritt reported to the press Thursday, that maritime safety officials of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, the owners of the two cruise ships, are expected to arrive in St. Kitts within the next few days to assist police and local maritime officials with the investigation.

Read full Statement by the Minister of Transport HERE.

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