Tourists abandoned’ on jet skis
Police have launched an investigation after five tourists on jet skis were “abandoned” at sea by their tour guide without ignition keys for the craft.
The cruise ship visitors were rescued by a passing boat, which started to tow the machines to shore until they were met by a vessel from KS Watersports, believed to be the company that had rented out the vehicles.
Joseph Froncioni explained how he came across the holidaymakers and they told him that their tour guide had become upset with how they had operated the machines.
He wrote on Facebook on Saturday: “Great boating day ... except for our return on South Shore.
“We were nearing the Vixen when we were hailed down by people on three jet skis.
“Turns out five passengers off one of the cruise ships in Dockyard had rented jet skis from KS Watersports in Dockyard.
“They told us that their guide was somehow unhappy about how they were handling their jet skis and so took all of the jet ski keys and abandoned them.
“They had been there for quite a while and asked for assistance, which we gave. We affixed three tow lines and proceeded towards Dockyard.”
Dr Froncioni said the incident was reported to the Maritime Operations Centre, which contacted KS Watersports and the company sent a boat to meet the jet skiers.
He explained: “The vessel took the clients aboard and took them to their cruise ship which was about to depart.
“We continued with the jet skis in tow until Dockyard, where the operators took over the jet skis.”
Dr Froncioni added: “I was truly embarrassed that this could happen here in Bermuda.
“We apologised to the tourists and wished them all the best. I doubt very much they will ever come back to Bermuda.
“Can’t wait to find out what really happened.
“However, no transgression on their part could possibly excuse abandonment at sea. Hope the responsible guide is dealt with appropriately.”
Dr Froncioni, who was the medical director for the 35th America’s Cup and is a former chairman of the Bermuda Road Safety Council, said he did not know why the tourists, thought to be from the United States, had been left on their own.
Dr Froncioni told The Royal Gazette: “I understand that tourists on jet skis or locals on jet skis misbehave at times ... it must be a frustrating job to be a jet ski guide.
“However, they have a responsibility and that responsibility, in my view, was breached by leaving five guests, who are non-mariners, out there without supervision and without powered vessels.”
He said: “Fortunately it was a nice day and the water was fairly benign.”
Dr Froncioni added: “Nobody was panicking or anything, they were anxious about missing their cruise ship — that was their major concern.”
A Maritime Operations Centre duty officer confirmed yesterday that the incident was logged at about 2.45pm on Saturday but that no further assistance was needed.
A police spokesman confirmed later: “A report has been made to police and inquiries regarding the circumstances of this matter are under way.”
No one from KS Watersports was available for comment yesterday.
The cruise ship schedule showed two ships berthed at Dockyard on Saturday.
The Anthem of the Seas, from Cape Liberty in New Jersey, was scheduled to be in Bermuda from 7.30am until 4pm and the Carnival Sunrise was due to arrive from New York at 9am and leave at 5pm.
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