Two Local Virgin Islanders Save Wheel Chair Cruise Ship Passenger

Virgin Islands Cruise Ship Rescue

Two local men in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands rescued a Carnival cruise ship passenger in a wheelchair who had fallen from a dock into the water.

The unnamed girl was a passenger onboard the Carnival Fascination which had stopped in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Monday. Two locals, Kuntry Hamilton, and Randolph Donovan sprung into action when the girl in her wheelchair fell into the water off the West Indian Company Dock, according to the Virgin Islands Consortium.

In a video of the rescue posted Monday on Facebook, the woman is seen in the water gripping a life ring that had been thrown to her as two men, identified as Kashief Hamilton and his friend, Randolph Donovan, hold on to her to keep her from going underwater.

Donovan jumped into the water and held the girl up to put a floating tube around her, and then Hamilton leaped into the water to fasten a rope around them both.

Rescuers on the dock are seen in the video using a rope that had been tied around the woman to hoist her out of the water. Once she is back on the ground, a crowd cheer as personnel tend to the woman.

A spokesperson for Carnival Cruise Line said in a statement that the woman was a guest on their Carnival Fascination cruise ship and was being escorted in the wheelchair by a family member when she accidentally fell off the dock.

The woman did not sustain any injuries, the spokesperson said.

Donovan, 34, is a resident of the U.S. Virgin Islands who said he works as a stilt dancer for the local Department of Tourism providing entertainment for visiting cruise ship passengers. He told NBC News in an interview on Saturday that he was working a shift when he heard a commotion at the dock.

When he ran over to see what was going on, Donovan said he saw a woman in her wheelchair struggling in the water.

“I jumped straight in the water from the top-level of the dock,” he said. “I removed her from the wheelchair because I didn’t want the wheelchair to sink with her in it.”

On his Facebook page, Donovan described the dramatic incident, writing: “I couldn’t think, I just had to move real quick. I cannot stop thinking about the way she was looking; I told myself I had to save her. The water was deep and when I [saw] the wheelchair going under, the weight and the fight that she put on me, I was in a tight situation. I [kept] screaming saying I cannot hold on no more.”

He said that it was lucky that Hamilton “was right there in the water to help. Now she [has] another day to talk about this day.”

Hamilton, who worked as a DJ on the boat, recounted the experience, writing on Facebook: “Thank God we all are safe and sound. The love that is coming is tremendous and I want to say thank you to each and every one. [In a] situation like this, all you can do is act and hope for the best. Randolph Donovan, I’m glad that we did what we did and we are OK.”

The pair’s quick thinking was praised by the U.S. Virgin Islands Senator, Kurt Vialet, who said that he told the Senate about their actions.

Sources:Newsweek/NBC News