Boat Runs Aground: 8 People Rescued, 1 Injured

April 14, 2013

[Updated with video - Around 1am today the 23ft Wellcraft “Sea Lion” ran aground on Saltus Island in Hamilton Harbour. Marine Police responded, eight people were rescued, and a 61-year-old American woman was taken to hospital via ambulance for treatment, and is now recovering on a general ward.]

Eight people were rescued at approximately 1.15am this morning [Apr 14] after a distress call was made from occupants onboard a boat that had run aground in the Hamilton Harbour area.

Rescue After Boat Runs Aground, Bermuda April 14 2013 (1)

Police attended the area, and with the assistance of Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre determined the general location of the stricken craft. A member of the public also joined the Marine Police in searching the area, and bringing people ashore.

Police Inspector Andy Morgan said that eight people were rescued from the crash scene with one female receiving facial injuries in the incident.

Rescue After Boat Runs Aground, Bermuda April 14 2013 (4)Rescue After Boat Runs Aground, Bermuda April 14 2013 (3)

An ambulance attended the Barr’s Bay Park area where the victims were brought ashore and transported the 60-year-old female to hospital for treatment.

Another ambulance responded some time later after it was determined at least two other people had received injuries that required hospital treatment. Fortunately, none of the injuries were serious in nature.

Police statement by Inspector Andy Morgan below:

Update 7.16am: A Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre spokesperson said they got the call at around 1am, with a man reporting that “through navigation error” the boat — named “Sea Lion” — ran aground on Saltus Island, which is just west of Hamilton Princess.

Update 10.37am: A statement from the Duty Officer said, “At 1:00am on Sunday morning Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre received a 911 call reporting the 23ft Wellcraft “Sea Lion” had run aground on the southeastern side of Saltus Island in Hamilton Harbour, with one of the eight crew remaining in the water with a possible neck injury.

“Broadcasts for assistance were initiated and the Police Marine Branch were tasked to attend. Staff at Ports Island also responded to a request for assistance. By 1:50am the 60 year old female casualty had been transferred to an ambulance and the rest of the crew safely evacuated ashore.”

Update 4.55pm: A police spokesperson said, “Around 1:15am on Sunday, April 14th police officers including members of the Marine Unit and first responders were dispatched to a reported marine incident in Hamilton harbour after a private vessel ran aground on Saltus Island.

“Initial information suggests that a 61 year old American woman was the only person onboard at the time injured. She was taken to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital via ambulance for treatment. At last check she was recovering on a general ward. The other persons onboard at the time also attended the hospital for medical assessment as a precaution.

“Inquiries are ongoing by the Marine Unit. The stricken vessel was subsequently removed from Saltus Island.”

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Category: Accidents and fires, All, News

Comments (71)

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  1. O'Brien says:

    Someone give us the story on this one please. Liquor? Ignorance? Tourists?

    Let’s have it…

    • Raymond Ray says:

      I agree with you O’Brien. Please, give more info. in reference to how this occured?

    • richard lee says:

      I hope the police will do a full investigation to this incident it could have been a lot worse thank god all are safe.

    • Tony Stark says:

      I heard it was the OBA party boat to celebrate their victory in defeating the PLP in the General Election. During the 4 year celebration they overlooked that the wrong man was Premier, who obvious had no clue know how to drive the Bermuda boat.

      Thus started to make the same stupid mistakes the previous Gvt made.

      • Tony Stark says:

        - know bernews

      • Mad Dawg says:

        Oh, how hilarious. Wot a comedian.

      • the lkdjkljd says:

        wow, more creative than paulas hats.

      • jt says:

        Just in – it ran aground while trying to avoid the debris of the HMS PLP, which sunk some time ago, but continues to pose a navigation hazzard for Bermuda.

      • Monday Morning says:

        At least the OBA party boat, was on their own dime! You do remember that the PLP declared a NATIONAL HOLIDAY when they were elected! I believe the calculated cost to the Bermuda taxpayer was $4 million for their “celebration”.

        I believe a more accurate depiction was that it was just another wreck caused by the PLP. Projected damages are $60K but they will probably bill Bermuda for $120K.

    • citi zen says:

      Was anyone sober? Just asking!

  2. Eastern says:

    I hope these individuals that are injured are not seriously injured and make a speedy recovery.

    The one thing I know about travelling in a boat at night is; that you do not go faster than the speed that you would want to hit something. Obviously these persons were travelling at a speed that is not a speed that you should be travelling at night or people would not have been injured.

  3. nuffin but bs sayin he truth says:

    Gilligan is that you??

    Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
    A tale of a fateful trip
    That started from this tropic port
    Aboard this tiny ship.

    The mate was a mighty sailing man,
    The skipper brave and sure.
    “Eight” passengers set sail that day
    For a three hour tour, a three hour tour.

    The weather started getting rough,
    The tiny ship was tossed,
    If not for the courage of the fearless crew
    The minnow would be lost, the minnow would be lost.

    The ship set ground on the shore of this uncharted bermuda isle
    With Gilligan
    The Skipper too,
    The millionaire and his wife,
    The movie star
    The professor and Mary Ann,
    And some lickkkk’ka lol

    Here on Gilligans Isle.

  4. MAKE MY DAY says:

    Odds… 100 – 1 booze was involved!!!

  5. swing voter says:

    jus because you have money don’t mean you can operate a boat. time for M & P to create a license exam for recreation mariners

    • Eastern says:

      I’ll admit that you need to be educated about boats before can operate one, but for someone that had my first boat at 4 years old (a wooden punt with one and half seagull engine) and has been on the water for well over fifty years shouldn’t now have to pay for a license.

      I would also like to know if the operator of the vessel has been breathalized (oh, that’s right the oerson driving the boat was the only sober person).

      The biggest menace on the water today are jet skis or the operators of them I should say. I am tired of being splashed or sprayed by these inconsiderate fools who have no knowledge of the rules of the water. (Jet skis are a good argument for making rocket lauched grenades legal…..just joking!!!)

      • Monday Morning says:

        Ya right, jet ski owners are the real problem on the water. Paradise Lakes and other parts of the island are filled with weekend boaters all Summer long. Taken a dive in Paradise Lakes lately?! The bottom is littered with empty beer bottles. Must be those pesky jet skiers right? Funny how all summer long you see hundreds of boats filled with people drinking booze all day long – yet somehow they manage to be soooo responsible and get their boats back on the moorings sober?! Don’t act so high and mighty! Boating on this island is out of control. The Public and the police seem to be much more tolerant and accepting of a drunk person operating a boat as opposed to a car.

        The next time you hear of a fishing tournament going on make your way to the weigh station and tell me how many captains and deckhands you see operating those boats without a drink in their hands, and many with youngsters in the boat. But we look the other way and accept it!

        I suppose that the crane doing work on the new dock was damaged because of the wake of a jetski, or as a fellow boater do you pretend not to notice that it was one of your own.

        Yes, some jetski owners act like idiots on the water. However, give them a boat and guess what, they still act like idiots on the water.


        I suppose the

    • Toodle-oo says:

      ‘License exam for recreational boaters’ ..

      LOL , that makes a huge difference on the roads for car drivers , eh ?

      Already been hashed to death in the US ..

      AS for jet skis as mentioned by Eastern .. You’re lucky to only have been splashed .. ask the people who’ve had guns pointed at them for reprimanding them on their ignorant .lawless antisocial behavior.
      The scourge of waterways all over the world.

    • Monday Morning says:

      I agree with you. it amazes me how someone can buy a boat and strap 2 x 250HP motors on the back of it and push away from the dock – with no test and zero experience!

  6. Truth is killin' me... says:

    If you look real hard in the first photo you can see the liquor bottles thrown up in the casurinas in the top far right.

  7. BermyMariner says:

    Looks like lack of experiance and maybe to much liqour rather than navigational error, but we wont know for sure until the full story. How do you strike Saltus island when the channel is clearly lit? I can only hope the passangers are ok.

    • Logic76 says:

      Saltus Island isn’t lit. There’s a directional pole on the southern point but no lights. It’s not too hard to misjudge how far out the point of the island sticks. I usually put my spotlight on the reflector to be 100% certain if I’m out at night. I’m sure this incident was due to lack of experience but generally when a boat hits land it can be classified as a navigational error.

      • jh says:

        Thank you, Logic76 for pointing out that there is no light!!!!! The driver (who has 20+ years boating experience in Bda) lost sight of the marker. It was a very unfortunate incident and luckily no one was seriously hurt (mainly due to the fact that the speed was not excessive).

        • Eastern says:

          Obviously speed was a factor; the one thing I know about travelling in a boat at night is; that you do not go faster than the speed that you would want to hit something. Obviously these persons were travelling at a speed that is not a speed that you should be travelling at night or people would not have been injured.

          • jredmond says:

            Don’t be daft. If you come to an abrupt stop at almost any speed you found fall and injure yourself. Not defending the captain, but you really shouldn’t assume you have all the answers.

        • Billy Mays says:

          jh, what you are saying is clearly a load of bs, whether or not you believe it. I saw the boat this morning well up on land, heeling at about 90 degrees. Speed was obviously a major factor, as was either gross incompetence or alcohol or both. The boat was very nearly against the marker; had he been looking he could not possibly have missed it. A sober, competent driver would not in a million years done what this clown managed to do. He’s very lucky he didn’t kill any of the friends aboard who entrusted their life and well being to him. He should never operate a vehicle of any type again. Ever. Anywhere.

      • BermyMariner says:

        The spotlight is a good percaution. I understand the pole is not lit on Saltus island and that is done for a reason. Certain bouys are lit guiding you out of the channel so you dont strike that island. You should follow a transient between them and have no problem. I have done it many times in boats of all sizes without a spot light and no issues so far. You are right any boat that strikes ground and due to the skipper is a navigational error. Navigational error is such nice way to explain it.

        • jh says:

          What’s the reason for no light? Apparently, this is not the first time a boat has hit the island. Just looking for clarification. Thanks.

          • BermyMariner says:

            The reason for no light is for the purpose that you do no go close to the island at night. If you keep the Green lit bouys on your starboard side (right side) leaving Hamilton Harbour it is supposed to give you sufficient distance from Saltus Island. If it was lit larger vessles would be tempted to go to close to Saltus island and run aground. Also to many lit bouys at night can disturb your depth perseption and cause confusion of where you are in relation to other bouys. This is also why the times at which they flash are diffrent so you can distinguish each one seperately.

            • Logic76 says:

              The only navigational lights pertaining to the shipping channel when leaving Hamilton Harbour (while situated inside the harbour) are the high-frequency red/green lights at Two Rock Passage. In my experience, if I am able to see both the red and green flashers located at Two Rock while I am in the harbour (off of Hamilton Princess) I’ll be a safe distance from the southern tip of Saltus Island. If I am too close to shore (north) I will be able to see the red flasher but not the green flasher as it will be obstructed by Saltus Island. I do not know if this is the general rule-of-thumb or not (I don’t have a Pilot License) so I cannot offer that as advice to others. I don’t profess to know everything about the local waters. When I run at night I always use GPS and radar (and a spotlight if transiting narrow inland passages) in conjunction with my knowledge of the local navigational aids. It may sound over the top to some but at the end of the day I have nothing to prove in regards to my knowledge of Bermuda’s waters and I like to be 100% certain my investment, or lack thereof (boat = bring on another thousand), stays afloat in once piece!

  8. Roberta says:

    Not alcohol (driver passed breathalyzer) or speed related (hence why no one seriously injured).

    • Jus' Askin' says:

      Forgive me but how do we know the person that took the breathalyzer was actually the driver ;-)

      • jh says:

        i know the driver and owner of the boat. he is a very honest person and has taken full responsibility. anyone else want to throw stones…?

        • Eastern says:

          ya, I want to throw stones; If I may repeat what I said above: The one thing I know about travelling in a boat ( and I am very experienced) at night is; that you do not go faster than the speed that you would want to hit something. Obviously these persons were travelling at a speed that is not a speed that you should be travelling at night or people would not have been injured.

        • Billy Mays says:

          I will happily throw stones. The clown who drove this boat aground was either drunk or incompetent. No other option. The island didn’t move, nor did the marker that he damn near hit. He could have killed his passengers. He gets no “credit” for taking responsibility; who else was responsible? Of course he was responsible.
          He may be honest, but he’s lacking the ability and/or the judgement to operate a motor vehicle.

    • Logic76 says:

      Then it’s confirmed! Sheer stupidity and lack of knowledge!

  9. skinnydipper says:

    They just forgot to use the proper light to steer his boat.

  10. Roberta says:

    Shame on all those of you so quick to pass judgement. Dont you have anything better to do on a Sunday? Maybe you should all go to church. Let God be your judge.

    • Huson says:

      I agree. People who have no knowledge passing their opinion, and with nothing better to do with their lives than make negative comments on the misfortunes of others. There are days I wish that Bernews and RG do not allow any comments of their stories for at least 48 hours post publish just so that people on these sites will have time to a) get the facts and b) determine whether their comment is adding any value to the story, aiding in debate and discussion, etc or c) realising that they are just a twit adding nothing but irritation to those that make the mistake of scrolling down to this point in the articles.

      • Merriam-Webster Dictionary says:

        hyp·o·crite noun \ˈhi-pə-ˌkrit\ Definition of HYPOCRITE a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

    • whatever says:

      Because those who go to church to pass judgment on others? That’s a laugh.

      • whatever says:

        ^Because those who go to church DON’T pass judgment on others? That’s a laugh.

        • Eastern says:

          I just came from church and all that I have offered is advise to those that travel on boats at night. I am definitely not passing judgement, however if you are travelling to fast at night that if you hit something and someone is injured, then obviously you are traveling too fast and if you are not “POSITIVE” about where you are going; then you need to slow down (or get a spotlight).

  11. Victor says:

    It is incredibly easy to lose your bearings at sea at night, even in relatively small bodies of water such as the Great Sound or Hamilton Harbour. Coming off the ocean, a lot of skippers will wait or first light before approaching. However, not seeing Salus island is pretty incompetent – hopefully everybody OK.

  12. goatfish says:

    Chingas, Dem bies should change de name from Sea Lion to Suck Rock!

  13. Elizabeth Von Trumparani says:

    Just inexperience or incompetence then… Ran aground right next to the navigational post.

  14. a swimming onion says:

    Despite some jumping to conclusions, we as Bermudians & residents should be thankful that there were no serious injuries or loss of life.

    And yes, there should be a basic “marine project ride” for all to do, who wish to own or drive a boat! Perhaps the marine police, marine retailers or even the marine & ports staff could conduct such marine safety classes?

  15. Triangle Drifter says:

    My my, there sure are alot of perfect people who never make mistakes on this thread! Plenty who have no clue of the challenges of night boating too.

    • interesting says:

      Triangle Drifter, what happened to your usual critical and self righteous self?

      You’ve historically lambasted persons for accidents on the road on Bernews, pretty hypocritical of you if you ask me? Here’s a short sample of many of your comments. I guess those people weren’t perfect either?

      “I don’t get it. Cars these days are dead easy to drive, power steering, power brakes, antilock brakes, automatic trannys, excellent tires & people CAN’T drive!!!!!”

      “Road surface!!! Oh puhleese, I’ll give you lousy trench refilling but anywhere else you can find the road surface just as smooth a here. We don’t have snow. We don’t have ice. We don’t have nasty deep potholes. We do have roads which have not been re engineered since the horse & cart days. Even the most modest of banking, making turns much safer especially for cyclists, does not exist”

      “Drunk or sober Bermudians can’t drive. Unbelievable for a place where the speeds are so slow, there is no mountain driving, there is no ice or snow to drive in!!!”

      “4:30AM, Overturned & abandoned. You think he was hot or what???”

      “Better straighten out one of the longest straight sections of road on the Island. While you are at it, lets make it a 4 lane. Some folks just need the space.”

      “I often wonder how long these people would live if they drove overseas the way they drive here.”

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        WOW! You must have an awful lot of free time to go way back digging up all that stuff!!!!

        Considering how inactive I have been in the past few months, been out drifting with little internet access, I have been only an occasional poster. When I see an opinion that mirrors mine, often, I don’t bother posting.

        Got a personal problem there?

        • interesting says:

          It only took 5 seconds on google to find, as you have made many critical self righteous posts in the past which was very noticeable. I’m sure many other readers noticed also.

          It was just interesting the total flipflop in attitude. It was very surprising you didn’t comment on the boat accident as:

          “1:00AM, Overturned. You think he was hot or what???”

          • Triangle Drifter says:

            Try sticking to the topic. Not this one. You obviously know nothing of boating if the best you can do is attack a poster. Stick to riding the ferrys or perhaps a cruise.

            Just for your info, I am a licensed skipper with thousands of hours, day & night, experience on Bermudas waters.

            With road experience I have hundreds of thousands of Bermuda miles behind me, crash free, plus over 80,000 miles driving a 23,000# 55′ long vehicle across the US & Canada. You could say that I have been around & have had the experience very few Bermuda drivers have.

            • interesting says:

              Sorry I called you out, pointing out the lack of credibility in your posting. I’m just the messenger, no need to attack me as you are doing. Might be best to reflect on your statements.

              So being so experienced perhaps answer this:

              You seem to be be extremely forgiving of a boat owner and the perils of night boating. Sure it’s challenging, but they don’t have to match a speed limit and keep within a tight lane. In fact being that close to shore they would be doing 5 knots correct?

              With motorists you are extremely unforgiving, when they have to drive the set 20mph speed limit, within tight lanes, dealing with rain, slippery roads, other drivers etc.

  16. angry says:

    I dont see a boat drivers test would make a difference, you either see the island or you dont. Boat licence may only be useful to make sure people know the rules like port to port, etc etc. Not going to stop people from licking up on an island they didn’t see.

  17. shee lah says:

    JB after a dinner party on the island???

  18. Eastern says:

    All the posters on this blog that do not own or who have never owned a boat should not be speeking about something that they nothing about.

  19. yes says:

    folks out at night in a small boat unusual to say the least midnight fishing maybe?

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Now please explain why using a boat late at night for transport is “unusual”?

      Another non boater jaw flapping.

      • Really says:

        Beta to be jaws flapping than a sea lion on de rocks !

  20. Truth is killin' me... says:

    If there was a wall there they would have knocked it over! These drivers are no different than the ones on land!!!

  21. m-man says:

    this is natural for sea lions they are known for hanging out and basking on the rocks

  22. Bobmarlin says:

    I like the one, where the driver was avoiding the sunk HMS PLP!

  23. Chuckling says:

    @Eastern…..should your comment apply to all the daily posters who don’t run and have never run a country?????Because most of them are experts and rarely to never post any solutions. Justsayin

  24. andisay says:

    it does not state what the cause was but had this been bermudians it would be all over the news, published and broadcasted. if it was tourists im not surprised that this is not being blown up and im sure they will get away with it.

    • Logic76 says:

      That’s a privately owned boat. Tourists can only rent boats during the daylight hours. Seriously, not everything is a conspiracy against Bermudians. Grow up.