Police have confirmed the death of a 62-year-old New Zealand woman visiting Bermuda with her family, who tragically lost her life in that fatal boat crash in Hamilton Harbour last night.
A spokesman also confirmed that the 26-year-old man driving the boat that crashed into the small inflatable craft passed the alco-analyzer test following his arrest on suspicion of operating a boat whilst impaired. He remains in custody pending further enquiries.
In the first statement to be issued with initial details, the spokesman said: “A 26-year-old local male resident was driving a 17 ft centre console vessel from Front Street Ferry Terminal towards White’s Island.
“The boat collided with a 9 ft Zodiac inflatable carrying three visitors to our island who were thrown overboard.
“The collision was witnessed by passengers of another small boat nearby and they were able to render immediate assistance.
“The occupants of the Zodiac all received injuries. Tragically, 62-year-old New Zealand visitor Mary Elizabeth McKee died from the injuries she sustained.
“The Bermuda Police Service extends sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased,” he said.
Meanwhile, the victim’s 69-year-old husband also from New Zealand and the operator of the Zodiac, a 26-year-old male visitor from the UK, also sustained serious injuries. At last check they were receiving treatment in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
“As a result of the initial investigation at the scene, marine police arrested the local man on suspicion of impaired operation of a watercraft. He complied with a demand for breath samples and passed the test. However, he remains in custody pending further enquiries.
“A forensic pathologist will be arriving on island in due course to assist with the investigation,” the spokesman added.
“Detectives are actively investigating this fatal marine incident and renew the appeal for witnesses or any persons with information to contact the Senior Investigative Officer Acting Detective Chief Inspector Dave Greenidge on 247-1744 or the independent and confidential Crime Stoppers hotline 800-8477.”
In a statement released earlier today, National Security Minister Jeff Baron said: “This has been such a sad and tragic event, and we extend our sincerest and deepest condolences to the family of the victim and hope for a swift recovery of those injured.
“The Bermuda Police Service continues their investigation into this matter and will keep the public abreast of developments. I wish to stress that the public safety of all attending the various events across our Island is of paramount concern for our security services personnel; and we continue to encourage care and caution during this very busy time in Bermuda.”