A positive young man full of promise’
A 24-year-old man killed in a boat crash was a hard worker with a bright future, friends and former employers said yesterday.
Cameron Patkos, a close friend who now lives in Toronto, said Adrian Hassell, who was from Sandys, was his oldest friend.
Mr Patkos added: “When I heard the news, I froze.
“He was supposed to visit me a month ago but a change in travel plans meant he couldn’t make it.”
Mr Patkos was speaking after Mr Hassell, one of three people on the boat, died in the early hours of New Year’s Day after the craft hit rocks off the West End.
Mr Patkos, 23, met Mr Hassell when they were aged four and were neighbours.
He said: “It doesn’t feel real to lose someone you have memories with since you were a kid.”
Mr Patkos said Mr Hassell, who worked at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, was a determined and energetic young man with a strong work ethic.
He added: “Most of all he was always positive and always looking for a laugh.”
Tim Morrison, general manger of the Hamilton Princess, said hotel staff were devastated by Mr Hassell’s death.
He added: “While Adrian only recently became a member of the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club family, he made an immediate impact and his passing will be felt for a long time.”
Mr Morrison said Mr Hassell made friends with co-workers easily and was popular with guests.
He added: “He was a warm and personable ambassador for the hotel and for Bermuda, who went the extra mile to create special experiences for guests.”
Steve Smith, the owner and operator of Rising Son Cruises, employed Mr Hassell as a crew member in 2018.
He said that news of the tragic death had left him in “complete shock and denial”.
Mr Smith said that Mr Hassell, nicknamed “Schooner”, had fitted in well with other Rising Son staff.
He added: “Not only did he have a great work ethic but he always did it with a smile and that funny giggle.
“It was an absolute pleasure having him on our team. This loss will weigh heavy on the Rising Son team for a long time and we will never forget about him.”
Kevin Dallas, chief executive of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, said the organisation was deeply saddened to hear of Mr Hassell’s death.
Mr Hassell worked as an intern at the tourism quango from June 2015 until August 2016.
Mr Dallas said: “He put maximum effort into whatever task was put before him and easily earned the respect of his more experienced coworkers.
“His work was so consistently of a high quality he was asked back to work with the team on more than one occasion and each time he made impactful contributions to the Bermuda tourism comeback.”
Mr Dallas added that Mr Hassell could have gone on to become a leader in the industry.
He said: “We are disappointed to know that more people in our community did not have the chance to benefit from this young man’s bright light.”
Anne Hyde, the executive director of Keep Bermuda Beautiful, worked with Mr Hassell on a litter clean-up and bus shelter painting near Horseshoe Bay Beach in 2016.
She said: “It is incredibly sad that someone young and full of promise is gone from us so suddenly.”
Wayne Caines, the national security minister, also expressed his condolences to Mr Hassell’s family and friends.
He added: “Whether by land or on the waters, we must use care and caution when operating all vehicles.”
Mr Hassell was awarded a degree in Tourism and Environment from Brock University in Ontario last year.
Police said yesterday that the 30-year-old pilot of the boat, who was also injured in the crash, had been arrested on suspicion of operating the vessel while impaired. He was released on bail.
The man, from Smith’s, was “stable” yesterday in the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital’s intensive care unit.
A police spokesman said officers wanted to speak to anyone who may have seen or spoken to Mr Hassell on New Year’s Eve or to the other passengers on the boat.
He added that Mr Hassell was known to have been in Hamilton bars the Pickled Onion and Dog House on New Year’s Eve.
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