ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Government should look to fast track legislation through Parliament to address safety in water sports.
This advice comes from head of the Antigua & Barbuda Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Auden Nicholas following an incident yesterday in which a tourist was found clinging to a jet ski 12 miles off the coast.
Stephen Payne of Virginia, USA, had to be rescued by the Coast Guard after he failed to report back to the company at Turner’s Beach, from which he had rented a jet ski Thursday.
The craft had run out of fuel, causing Payne to drift for more than 12 hours at sea.
According to the Coast Guard boss, the jet ski’s owner became alarmed after Payne failed to show up Thursday at the time he should have returned.
The owner then launched a search, however when the missing man could not be found, he raised an alarm.
The Coast Guard Cutter went into action at about 7:45 pm, but it was not until first light the next morning when the search was resumed that the visitor was found just before eight o’clock, clinging to the jet ski.
The Coast Guard officers from Martinique had also joined the search.
According to the lieutenant commander, the 32-year-old visitor showed no signs of distress and appeared to be in good health.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)