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‘I looked over to my right and I thought he was dead’

Patrick Stamper’s 20-foot Phantom boat suffered extensive damage during Sunday’s Wedco National Championship in the Great Sound (Photograph supplied)

The co-pilot of a powerboat involved in a crash during the Wedco National Championship in the Great Sound on Sunday, has said that he thought his fellow crew member had died in the incident.

Rival drivers Shaki Easton and Patrick Stamper collided during the race, with Stamper and co-pilot Marcus Pimentel suffering minor injuries and their 20-foot Phantom boat extensively damaged.

Pimentel described the crash as “humbling” and is thankful that he and Stamper walked away from the ordeal virtually unscathed.

“It’s a very humbling experience and I am still trying to wrap my head around it all,” he said.

“When I looked over to my right, I thought Patrick was dead. I saw his head down and thought he was dead and it wasn’t until he came on the intercom and said ‘are you all right?’ when I realised we were through it.

“For a second I thought he was dead and that’s why it was a very humbling experience.

“I have known Patrick for years and to have someone sitting next to you two feet away looking over your shoulder and the next minute you think the guy is dead is a real humbling experience.

“It’s unfortunate but we’re just grateful things were not any worse than it was.

“We walked away with just a couple of scratches and bruises. No broken bones, just a hurt wallet from the extensive damage the boat suffered.

“We were mostly shaken up and are very grateful to be alive.

“I have raced bikes and a whole lot of other stuff but this is by far probably the scariest moment of my racing career. This is something I never imagined would happen.

“It’s unfortunate but you live and learn, and I am just happy to be alive.”

The Bermuda Power Boat Association has already launched an inquiry into the incident.

“It’s under internal investigation so the committee has to look in to it first,” BPBA commodore Janae Nesbitt told The Royal Gazette when pressed for comment.

It remains unclear whether anyone on board Easton’s boat was injured or if there was any structural damage to his boat as he declined to offer any comment on the matter given the BPBA’s ongoing investigation.

On the water, Shane Maderios and Josh Holder landed top honours in the A class, Brandon DeSilva and Blake Burgess in the BV class, Rickai Raynor and Kentione Jones in the B class, Chad Sutherland and Lee Wilson in the C class, Steven Mireles and Brian Ventura in the D class and Andrew Cottingham and Henry Talbot reigned supreme in the S class. Craig Smith won the jet ski race.

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Published September 12, 2023 at 7:59 am (Updated September 12, 2023 at 7:59 am)

‘I looked over to my right and I thought he was dead’

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