A news source in the U.S. Virgin Islands reports that two passengers from the Celebrity Eclipse cruise ship were involved in a serious parasailing accident on Tuesday in St. Thomas.
The incident occurred late Tuesday afternoon while the passengers were on an excursion. One of the passengers died, and the other was seriously injured and remains hospitalized.
There are comments from an online cruise community suggesting that the deceased passengers was celebrating her 60th birthday and her daughter was the one seriously injured.
Celebrity Cruises advertises parasailing "400 feet over St. Thomas" on its website. You can watch's Celebrity's brief video about parasailing in St. Thomas here which describes the excursion as an "experience of a lifetime."
A number of agencies are apparently involved in the investigation into this incident, including the Virgin Islands Police Department, Department of Planning and Natural Resources, Attorney General’s Office, and the U.S. Coast Guard.
Last year we reported on the death of a Carnival cruise passenger parasailing in Cozumel during an excursion.
if you know how the accident occurred, please leave a comment below.
November 17, 2011 Update:
The Virgin Islands Daily News published an article this evening stating that "squalls and wind gusts Tuesday afternoon may have factored into the death of Bernice Kraftcheck, 60, and the serious injury of her daughter Danielle Haese, 34, who was hospitalized overnight at Schneider Hospital."
The mother and daughter purchased a parasailing shore-excursion from Celebrity Cruises which was conducted by Caribbean Watersports and Tours. The excursion company conducted the parasailing trip aboard the 31-foot powerboat Turtle. The newspaper reports that two crew members operated the Turtle, which was carrying five passengers.
"All parasailing shore excursions in the Caribbean have been cancelled indefinitely, pending the outcome of the investigation," said Celebrity Cruises spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez.
Cruise lines face legal liability when they fail to vet the safety policies and procedures of the excursion companies which the cruise lines select to do business with.
For example, a dozen passengers from Celebrity Cruises' Summit cruise ship were seriously injured when an open air excursion vehicle ran off the road in Dominica. We represented passengers against the cruise line and the excursion company in that accident. Information on the Dominica excursion accident is contained in an article "Injured Visitors to Dominica Airlifted to Miami."
December 3, 2011 Update:
Photo credit: Celebrity Cruises