Video shows rescue of cruise-ship passenger in wheelchair who fell into water

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Two local men in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands rescued a Carnival cruise ship passenger in a wheelchair who had fallen from a dock into the water.

In a video of the rescue posted Monday on Facebook, the woman is seen in the water gripping a life ring that had been thrown to her as two men, identified as Kashief Hamilton and his friend, Randolph Donovan, hold on to her to keep her from going underwater.

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Two men rescued a women whose wheelchair rolled off a dock in the Virgin Islands.Randall Donovan

Rescuers on the dock are seen in the video using a rope that had been tied around the woman to hoist her out of the water. Once she is back on the ground, a crowd cheers as personnel tend to the woman.

A spokesperson for Carnival Cruise Line said in a statement that the woman was a guest on their Carnival Fascination cruise ship and was being escorted in the wheelchair by a family member when she accidentally fell off the dock.

The woman did not sustain any injuries, the spokesperson said.

Donovan, 34, is a resident of the U.S. Virgin Islands who said he works as a stilt dancer for the local Department of Tourism providing entertainment for visiting cruise ship passengers. He told NBC News in an interview on Saturday that he was working a shift when he heard a commotion at the dock.

When he ran over to see what was going on, Donovan said he saw a woman in her wheelchair struggling in the water.

“I jumped straight in the water from the top level of the dock,” he said. “I removed her from the wheelchair because I didn’t want the wheelchair to sink with her in it.”

Donovan said a life ring was dropped into the water for the woman to hold onto. As he was trying to keep the woman from going underwater, Donovan said he started to feel fatigued and told Hamilton he couldn’t hold on to the woman for much longer.

“I jumped in the water and I swam to them,” said Hamilton, who is also a resident of the Virgin Islands and who said he works as a DJ with the Department of Tourism. Donovan “went from trying to rescue her and now he’s trying to survive. I can’t lose my friend, so I jumped in.”

Cruise ship staff members on the dock threw a rope down to the men. Hamilton said he tied the rope around the woman and then held onto her and Donovan until rescuers on the dock could pull them out.

The Carnival Cruise Line spokesperson said the woman received a complimentary wheelchair to use for the rest of the trip.

“Our most sincere thanks and appreciation to these individuals for their heroic efforts in assisting this guest,” the company said.