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Man killed in boating accident

A fishing trip ended in horror yesterday after three men were ejected from a 40-foot boat in an accident that left one of them dead, police reported.

Shortly after noon, the victim, local businessman John Saunders, who was in his 50s, and two friends — also in their 50s — were returning to the Palm Cay marina, when their vessel struck an object in the water and flung them into the sea, according to ASP Audley Peters.

He said the men were found after 1 p.m.

“One of the marine units responded and fished a male, who was unresponsive, from the water,” Peters told reporters outside Palm Cay.

“We were also informed that a boater would have fished two adult males from the water.”

He said the Royal Bahamas Police Force is awaiting an autopsy to 

determine Saunders’ cause of death.

Police were awaiting the identification of the victim to notify his next of kin, according to Peters.

All three men are residents of New Providence, he said.

When asked about the condition of the two survivors, Peters replied, “They seem to be in fair condition. EMS (emergency medical services) came in and they declined to be treated at the hospital. So, that suggests that they were doing pretty well.” 

He said the vessel proceeded in the water “unmanned” after it ejected the men.

Peters said it ran aground in Yamacraw Shores “where it was eventually damaged by fire”.

He said Fire Services extinguished the vessel.

John Saunders.

Videos of the rising plume of black smoke at the site of where the vessel caught on fire were widely circulated on social media. 

The bottom of the vessel appeared unscathed when The Nassau Guardian visited the site around 2:30 p.m.

The inside, however, was charred with wires hanging from the stern. Hunks of metal and miscellaneous boat parts were scattered a few feet from the vessel.

Peters said the vessel belonged to one of the men involved in the incident.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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