Man remains in custody as drowning investigation continues

POSTED: 03/29/11 2:46 AM

St. Maarten – Witnesses to Felecia Williams’ drowning on Sunday have slammed the response time of emergency services and said she could have been saved if the authorities had acted faster. They are particularly displeased that neither the Coast Guard nor the police, who have a marine patrol unit, have a consistent presence in the area.

“There’s not even a life guard on the beach here, for if something happens,” on resident said.

Residents said a rescue was attempted with row boats and Jet Skis, when they did not see emergency services reacting. This was not fast enough.

In the estimation of at least two of the residents it took police an hour and a half to two hours from between 4:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. and the moment they had fully mobilized police and an ambulance had arrived. The acting police spokesman Geronimo Juliet said Monday they responded as soon as they got the call.

“The call came in at 5:15 p.m. and we went there as soon as we got the call. We requested assistance from the Coast Guard and the Port Authority. We searched the area until 10:00 p.m. but decided to call it off because it had gotten too dark, but as we saw in the newspaper Sheriff Security kept searching and they found the body,” Juliet said.

A.H.T of Guyana, who piloted the Jet Ski, remains in police detention as officers continue to investigate. T., who is here on vacation, rented the Jet Ski from Adventure Dive Center and Water sports at the Great Bay Beach Resort and Casino. He signed a release for a single person rental and was given one life jacket. Three people ended up on the Jet Ski and when it toppled over Williams, who reportedly cannot swim, struggled in vain to stay afloat, before losing her life.

Outpouring

The outpouring of emotion at the teen’s death on social networking site Facebook, that began on Sunday continued Monday. There’s also been a reaction from the St. Maarten Academy PSVE, where Williams went to school.  The school’s counselor Amy Arrindell posted a picture of the teen under the heading, “One of my students drowned this afternoon. The saying is true, “Today you’re here, Tomorrow you’re gone.” The picture itself bore the words “R.I.P Felly, gone too soon.”

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Comments (1)

 

  1. GOD is with my husband Aubrey h Thom,he is a loving person with a big heart that sunday at the beach I know the two young ladied insisted to ride the jet ski,and the type of person my husband is he’ll do anything to make anyone happy, that day it was Felicia time its only one whos in charge Aubrey was just there.I just want the world to know I love my husband and he doesnt deserve any type of punishment. I’ll keep praying for him, our family , Felicia family, and the day the jail lets my husband come home to his wife and family