The death of a 73-year-old man in a horrific boat crash in 2015 was accidental, a coroner ruled yesterday.
Coroner Jeanine Weech-Gomez received permission from the attorney general to hold the inquiry into the April 3, 2015 death of Timothy Ferguson without a jury.
Ferguson was fishing near Delaporte with relatives in a 15-foot Boston whaler when a 90-foot yacht owned by hotelier Gordon “Butch” Stewart collided with his vessel. Neville Christie, Stewart’s captain of 33 years, was piloting the yacht at the time of the fatal crash.
Although he claimed that he had visibility for about a mile from the yacht’s flybridge, Christie testified that he did not see the boat until he heard a commotion from the cockpit.
According to the evidence, the Fergusons jumped overboard when they saw the Sir John II headed directly in their direction.
The Sir John II hit the boat and mangled Ferguson, who died a short time later on the yacht.
Weech-Gomez said that her role was not to attribute blame, or criminal or civil liability.
She expressed her condolences to Ferguson’s family and said she hoped that the finding “brought some closure”.
Ramona Farquharson-Seymour represented Ferguson’s estate and Jerone Roberts appeared for Christie.