St. John Tradewinds News

Ferry Officials Correct Discrepancies

Editor:

Kindly allow me to correct some discrepancies in your article published last week about violence on the ferry. There are several errors and I feel the necessity to set the record straight.

Let me say that Inter Island Services was shocked to learn of the most unfortunate incident that occurred about the Sundance Queen. We are committed to complying with all safety requirements of the U.S. Coast Guard and assuring the safety and comfort of all our passengers and crew.

To this end we are working with the USCG and other authorities to get to the bottom of this unfortunate situation.

Thus far, our investigation has revealed that the crew was not sitting on the the rail. Sitting on the rail is not permitted and fairly impossible as a person would fall over immediately. Nor has it been found that anyone was either pushed or punched.

The captain of the Sundance Queen disembarked at Cruz Bay and completed his required paperwork at the Customs office. He cleared Immigration and I directed him to travel to Red Hook to meet with the Coast Guard and myself on the next ferry, after which he proceeded to the Cruz Bay police department to make a statement.

Incidents aboard a U.S. licensed vessel are the jurisdiction of the USCG. Local police have no authority. They must respect the authority of jurisdiction and the civil rights of each and every one of us. The Coast Guard was fully aware of the situation. It has been the only authority investigating the incident. There have been no other investigations to our knowledge thus far.

Any situation in which someone is injured is a terrible thing and most regrettable. While we continue to work with the USCG to resolve this situation and complete our internal investigation we also wish to address the errors in your recent article in the hope of preventing speculation from compromising facts.

Respectfully,
Sara Puterbaugh
Operations Manager