CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Officials from Carnival Cruise Line, the West Indian Company Limited (WICO) and the local government honored St. Thomians Kashief Hamilton and Randolph Donovan, Jr. for rescuing a wheelchair-bound cruise passenger who accidentally fell off WICO’s dock at Havensight cruise facility on Saturday.
Hamilton and Donovan were recognized Monday in a ceremony held aboard Carnival Fascination, the ship aboard which the rescued passenger was sailing when the accident occurred.
The men leaped into the water after the passenger’s wheelchair rolled off the pier, removed the young girl as her wheelchair sank, securing her with a life preserver before hoisting her back onto the dock.
Hamilton and Donovan are each members of the Virgin Islands’ Department of Tourism’s Visitor Experience team, which welcomes arriving passengers.
Donovan normally appears in a traditional mocko jumbie outfit in which he entertains passengers as they leave cruise ships. He was present at the dock on his day off to support fellow team members on a busy cruise day. Hamilton was at the dock working as a dockside disc jockey known as DJ Kuntry.
Virgin Islands Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte praised the pair for their selflessness and “going above the call of duty.”
“We give thanks to them and to God for their selfless act of bravery, which has inspired our community in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the world at large,” Boschulte said.
In recognition of their actions WICO is providing Hamilton and Donovan with tickets for a cruise of their choice, said Department of Tourism officials. The government is, in turn, providing the pair with round-trip airline tickets to and from the city where their cruise voyage begins.
“These two young men, two Virgin Islanders, demonstrated courage that exemplified (the notion) that the person in the water is one of us and we must save her,” said Kevin Rodriguez, deputy chief of staff to Governor Albert Bryan, Jr.. “For that, I want to commend you.”
The Havensight cruise ship facility in St. Thomas is the busiest cruise ship port in the world.