Police Service Release Dead Boater’s Name

December 12, 2013

This afternoon [Dec 12] the police released the name of the man found dead yesterday at Shelly Bay, identifying him as Steve Cummings of Florida, an experienced yachtsman who once sailed around the world.

After receiving an early morning phone call telling of a vessel in distress yesterday [Dec 11], Police found a debris field indicating a wrecked boat off the waters of Blackwatch Pass on North Shore.

The boat’s captain – and the pet cats that were reported to be on board – were nowhere to be found. Unfortunately, only hours later, a man’s lifeless body was located on the shoreline of Shelly Bay Beach, bringing hopes of a rescue to a close.

Police tape cordons off Shelly Bay Beach yesterday morning:

photo (2)

After spending time investigating the scene, with yellow police tape restricting access to much of Shelly Bay Beach, police this afternoon formally identified the deceased boater as Steve Cummings, a Florida man with a long history of marine adventuring.

His boat, dubbed Silent Thunder was identified yesterday as the vessel in question, the damaged wreck of which was discovered yesterday by police divers off of the North Shore.

Salvage operation underway this afternoon, with divers in the water


His identity quickly circulated yesterday, due to a profile on the boat and Mr Cummings on AllatSea.net.

According to the profile report from May 2012, “Steve Cummings has been messing around boats his entire life. All kinds of boats.”

Living on the west coast of Florida, the couple was ready for a lifestyle change – they wanted to spend time on the water again. They searched far and wide to find the perfect vessel.

After months of restoration and repair, Mr. Cummings renamed T-Boat 453 to Silent Thunder. He was in Bermuda and planning to attempt a journey across the Atlantic, with the Mediterranean island of Malta understood to be his final destination.

The Silent Thunder, photo courtesy of AllAtSea.net:


AllAtSea reported that in 1991 Mr Cummings captained a voyage around the world on Sybarite, a 65-foot yacht with three passengers.

“We made 95 countries and 105 ports and we only stayed at two docks,” said Mr Cummings, who likes to anchor out. “They made us dock at Sydney, Australia, or I would’ve anchored there too.”

Silent Thunder was launched in January 2011 and brought to Stuart, Florida, and three cats — Shakespeare, Earl Grey and Molly — were onboard.

Mr. Cummings was known for traveling the sea with his cats, two of which were aboard the vessel at the time of its sinking.

The Police statement is below:

The Bermuda Police Service can now confirm the death of 66 year old American Steve Cummings and extends condolences to his family & friends.

Around 12:30am on Wednesday, December 11th police and Bermuda Radio received a report that the Florida resident’s vessel required assistance in the waters off the North Shore in the area of Black Watch Pass.

The police Marine Unit responded and conducted an overnight search of that maritime area for the vessel; however tragically a debris field was subsequently established.

Around 7:50am on Wednesday a member of the public called police after a man’s lifeless body was found along the shoreline of Shelly Bay. The deceased was later identified as Mr. Cummings and he was officially pronounced dead at the scene by an on call doctor. The two cats he was traveling with also perished.

A Family Liaison Officer has been assigned to the family of Mr. Cummings to assist them at this difficult time.

An autopsy is scheduled in due course and a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of Mr. Cummings is ongoing.

In addition, a local salvage company in coordination with Marine and Ports is currently assessing how the sunken vessel can be floated.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Mr. Cummings or who may have interacted with him prior to midnight Wednesday should contact the investigating officer Marine Unit Constable Sean Wheatley directly on 247-1515.

We would also like to acknowledge the actions of all who have assisted so far in collecting debris and locating the sunken vessel including members of the public, Bermuda Regiment, Department of Fisheries as well as Marine and Ports Pilot boat personnel.

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Category: Accidents and fires, All, News

Comments (9)

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Articles that link to this one:

  1. ‘Silent Thunder’ Boat Raised After Fatal Disaster | Bernews.com | December 14, 2013
  1. This man has quite a story and our condolences go out to his many friends and family, if there is any way to be positive about death, I would think the best way to look at it, is the fact that this gentleman left this world doing what it seems he loved best, upon the waters and among nature it’s self. were one can often have a greater appreciation for creation and it’s creator.

    Rest in Peace

    • Nuffin but da Truth says:

      I think you have found the words for everyone Duane.

  2. terry says:

    For once we agree Duane.
    Thank you.

  3. Bermudian. says:


  4. James Rego says:

    I have informed that Mr. Cummings little friends were found with him on the beach!

  5. Tim D says:

    Speaking for his group of friends in Stuart Florida, we were hoping against all odds this report was not Steve. Thank You for the kind words stated so well.
    We extend our condolences to Rose and her family for their loss.
    Steve, may you rest in peace, you are missed.
    Tim & Sherry

  6. Bob lonnay says:

    So long Steve. You will be missed. Bobs auto electric

  7. Louann Doolin says:

    I will miss you forever ,My best friend and more