The Nassau Guardian reports that a cruise ship passenger went missing sometime Saturday after he left a Paradise Island beach on a rented jet ski and did not return. The newspaper reports that the U.S. Embassy has been notified of the passenger’s disappearance, and that two friends who accompanied the passenger on the cruise left with the ship.
The Bahamas Tribune also reports on the story and states that the missing passenger is a 32 year old man from West Chester, Ohio, was last seen on the jet ski which he rented on Cabbage Beach at around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Police informed the Tribune that the passenger arrived in Nassau on the Carnival Imagination cruise ship at around 10:45 a.m. on Saturday, and was reported missing at 10.30pm.
His wife, identified as Cincinnati resident Sonia Wells, called and reported her husband missing.
Officers from various police, airforce and marine agencies reportedly searched the area where the passenger disappeared without success.
The U.S. Department of State has the following warning about water sports rentals in the Bahamas:
"The water sports and scooter rental industries in The Bahamas are not carefully regulated. Every year people are killed or injured due to improper, careless, or reckless operation of scooters, jet-skis, and personal watercraft or scuba/snorkeling equipment. Visitors should rent equipment only from reputable operators, and should insist on sufficient training before using the equipment. There have been reports that some operators do not actually provide insurance coverage even when the renter opted (and paid) for insurance coverage. Visitors should insist on seeing proof that operators have sufficient medical and liability insurance."
You can read about other jet ski accidents in the Bahamas here.
"Jet Ski Operators Defend Industry After Death" explains some of the problems with renting jet skis in the Bahamas.
June 7, 2011 Update: Newspapers and television stations in Ohio are reporting that the missing passenger is Nathan ("Nate") Wells, from West Chester Ohio, married with one daughter. The jet ski was located in the waters off of Nassau. He had cruised to Nassau with two friends. In additionto the Bahamian authorities, the U.S. Coast Guard is searching for him.
WLWT television in Cincinnati has a video interview with friends and family about Mr. Wells.