Under-Staffed Diving Excursion Leads to Death of 17 Year Old Carnival Cruise Passenger in Grand Turk
The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police website states that a 17 year old U.S. tourist was pulled from the waters off Grand Turk in what the police call a diving accident on April 4, 2012.
Professor Ross Klein's website and members of Cruise Critic state that the incident involved a teenage from the Carnival Pride cruise ship who was on a Carnival sanctioned excursion with Oasis Divers, which advertises:
"Our professional and courteous staff makes sure your experience is unforgettable. Many of our guides have been diving these waters for years and have an astounding knowledge of the reef and dive sites. Our divemasters take care of all the details to ensure your time with Oasis Divers is everything you’ve dreamed of in a dive shop. From setting up your equipment each day to detailed dive site descriptions and briefings, Oasis Divers prides itself on our fantastic team. We dive in small groups and guarantee personalized service from your divemaster."
According to Cruise Critic, the young man went into the water in a group of 16 divers with only 2 instructors in the water. If the Cruise Critic information is correct, a ratio of 8 divers to 1 instructor is grossly insufficient and probably constitutes criminal malfeasance - particularly if there are new or inexperienced divers.
The young cruise passenger was treated at a local hospital and then flown to the U.S. where he died at a hospital.
The police report also mentions two recent snorkeling deaths on the island, including a 80 year old tourist and and a 62 year old described as a cruise passenger.
A scuba message board discusses these cases and suggests that Carnival and Holland America Cruise Lines suspended their contracts with the diving excursion company.
Last week we reported on a Celebrity cruise passenger from the Equinox who died during a diving excursion in Cozumel.