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‘Corrective measures’ after tourists abandoned at sea

Police found no evidence of a crime after five tourists on jet skis were “abandoned” at sea by their tour guide without ignition keys for their craft.

The Government said that “corrective measures” have now been introduced by the company that hired out the machines.

The cruise ship passengers were rescued by a passing boat, which started to tow the jet skis to shore.

They were met on the way by a boat from KS Watersports, believed to be the firm that had rented out the vehicles before the July incident.

A police spokesman said this week: “Inquiries regarding the circumstances of this incident were conducted by police, with all parties involved, but no criminal offences were detected. The matter has since been addressed by KS Watersports management, and the Department of Marine and Ports Services.”

A government spokeswoman added: “Marine and ports investigations are not for public consumption. The matter was fully investigated by the Department of Marine and Ports and corrective measures have been implemented by the company.”

KS Watersports did not respond to several requests for comment.

The incident came to light on July 20 after Joseph Froncioni came across the stranded holidaymakers. The group told him that their tour guide had become upset with how they had operated the machines.

Dr Froncioni wrote on Facebook at the time: “Great boating day ... except for our return on South Shore. We were nearing the Vixen [wreck] 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, who was the medical director for the 35th America's Cup and is a former chairman of the Bermuda Road Safety Council, said the incident was reported to the Maritime Operations Centre.

The centre contacted KS Watersports and the company sent a boat to meet the jet skiers.

He explained that the vessel took the tourists to their cruise ship, which was about to depart.

Dr Froncioni's Facebook post 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.”

Rescue at sea: Joseph Froncioni told how he towed tourists, who were left without keys to their jet skis (Photograph from Dr Froncioni's Facebook page)

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Published September 03, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated September 03, 2019 at 8:55 am)

‘Corrective measures’ after tourists abandoned at sea

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