Carnival Excursion Death St. KkittsWe were informed yesterday that a Carnival cruise passenger from the Carnival Glory died in St. Kitts during a SNUBA excursion booked on the ship. 

A cruise passenger who witnessed the spectacle but wishes to stay anonymous states that it allegedly took an ambulance 20 minutes to arrive. The vehicle allegedly had no medical equipment or defibrillator. The passenger who contacted us says that there was "zero medical help" from the St. Kitts paramedics. "They just looked at the guy, said he’s dead, and walked away."

Nurses and a firefighter vacationing on the Friar’s Bay beach reportedly performed CPR on the passenger for 15 minutes without success.  

The passenger complained that there was allegedly no doctor available who could even pronounce the passenger dead so they could take his body away instead of being left in the sun for hours.  

Cruise lines need to require every tour operator to have defibrillators and proper first aid equipment with them, particularly in countries where they take their passengers that have ambulances without defibrillators or basic emergency equipment. 

Carnival declined to respond to our request for a comment. 

  • Toni Frederick

    While this is indeed tragic, and if the recount of what the paramedics said is accurate it was certainly unacceptable. But the inference about how long the ambulance took to take is unsettling. The article ought to have mentioned the distance from the hospital (which is in the capital) and the beach where this sad incident occurred (on the South East Peninsula). The ambulance would have been going at top speed to have arrived in 20 minutes.

  • Toni:

    That’s why you must have, at a minimum, emergency medical equipment and defibrillators at the excursion scene, not a half-hour away in the capital.

  • John Goldsmith

    I do understand what Jim is saying with this article. However, to expect that standards that we accept every day in Canada and the U.S.A. for safety and equipment availability, be accepted by the entire world is somewhat naïve. Until there are laws that are in place globally, we will have to accept regional failures such as this. We don’t have to like it, but without any standards……..

  • Marcos

    If guests choose to cruise with a poor company they should at least do some homewrk on the net or here at your blog to choose which company has a better reputation in guest assistance. As a former DCL i have had countless guest assitance in any port! We care!

  • Karen Seiter

    My husband and I did the SNUBA on a cruise excursion years ago. My husband got very short of breath under the water. I had to push people out of the way to get him up the ladder so he could get the helmet off. When he got to the surface he was pale and diaphoretic. I’m wondering if there are cases where the oxygen supply is not working properly. I don’t remember which island we were on then but I am sure it was not St. Kitts.

  • Percivalh

    The passenger who is recommending that the cruise lines must require tour operators to have defibrillators and first aid kits need to tell us if the same is done in their country. Too often they come to these islands and want standards that are way above what pertains in their country.

  • Percivalh

    The passenger who is recommending that the cruise lines must require tour operators to have defibrillators and first aid kits need to tell us if the same is done in their country. Too often they come to these islands and want standards that are way above what pertains in their country.

  • Maverick

    Most places should carry defibrillators, especially schools, hotels, malls, stores, Police, Fire Dept, planes, passenger vessels etc.. But most won’t because people like to sue even though others are over extending themselves to save lives! The businesses having such are more attractive to people doling out their money for service. They are not cheap, they save lives and with time will be a necessity!

  • I personally believe that Tour operators need to invest in the safety of their patrons. This passengers’ life could have been saved if there was a defibrillator. Time for the operators to have these safety equipment available along with well trained technicians.

  • Kim Parker

    As a nurse, I feel that having emergency equipment is necessary in saving lives. However, people must realize that these countries that we travel to in the Caribbean are not rich & are not able to have these expensive life saving equipment available to be used. Even if the businesses buy it, they have to have people trained to use it. Not only that, but health care is not the same in these countries as it is in the US. They don’t have the technology we have, they don’t attempt to go through heroic measures to save lives, because they don’t have the resources to do so.
    Plus, what happened to this passenger is a mystery. We don’t know what he died of, he could have had a stroke, aneurysm, blood clot to his brain or lungs. In those cases, a defibrillator wouldn’t have done anything to save his life. People need to stop judging these companies not having emergency medical equipment. If they want something for the companies to do, they should ask them to at least do basic life saving measures such as CPR.