Celebrity Cruises has canceled all parasailing trips in the Caribbean following an accident in St. Thomas that left one passenger dead and another critically injured. Royal Caribbean, Celebrity’s sister line, has followed suit.
A 60-year-old passenger sailing on Celebrity Eclipse, identified as Bernice Kraftcheck, 60, died as a result of her fall. Her daughter, Danielle Haese, 34, who was riding in tandem, is being treated at Hospital in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. Celebrity Cruises spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez confirmed that the mother and daughter were participating in a ship-sponsored shore excursion.
According to the Daily News, “squalls and wind gusts in St. Thomas on Tuesday afternoon may have factored into the death.” Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad said the women hit the water at the same time.
Six government agencies have convened to investigate the matter, and are working in collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard. The parasail company has voluntarily suspended operations until the completion of the full-compliance inspection.
As of Friday morning, Martinez tells Cruise Critic that the investigation is ongoing, and Royal Caribbean and Celebrity have stopped offering parasailing excursions in the Caribbean pending the outcome. Martinez said the decision to shelve the excursions was being made in an “abundance of caution.”