STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Two men rescued a wheelchair-bound woman who fell off a dock into the ocean

When a young woman in a wheelchair fell off a cruise ship dock in St. Martin, two local entertainers jumped in after her to save her from drowning.

Posted: Aug 19, 2019 7:06 AM


DJ Kashief Hamilton says he was playing music on a cruise ship dock at St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands when he heard a loud scream. The DJ stopped the party.

He says he saw people running, including friend Randolph Donovan, with whom he works as an entertainer for visitors to the island.

The 34-year-old Donovan jumped about 10 feet down off the dock into the ocean. A young woman in a wheelchair was sinking.

"I got her out of her wheelchair," Donovan told CNN. Someone on the dock threw down a life preserver, he said.

Then Hamilton, 33, says he jumped in to help his friend, who was holding up the young woman, kicking furiously to keep the two of them afloat. "I can't go no more," Donovan told Hamilton.

Hamilton said the water was about 35 or 40 feet deep where they jumped in, making it more than deep enough for the woman weighted down by her wheelchair to sink.

Together with onlookers atop the dock, Hamilton and Donovan pulled the young woman back up to safety.

They never got her name, but they said one of her family members gave them a big hug.

"I'm glad the outcome was something positive," Hamilton said. "We would have lost someone who is both a family member and a passenger."

They easily could have lost their own lives, too, if a gust of wind had buffeted the waves, moving the massive Carnival Fascination cruise ship parked at the dock. If the ship had shifted a few yards, the three could have been crushed against the dock, Hamilton said.

A spokeswoman for Carnival Cruise Line declined to identify the passenger who was rescued, but told CNN, "The guest was seen by our medical team and did not sustain injuries. A complimentary replacement wheelchair has been provided for the duration of the cruise."

Strangers now call them heroes

Hamilton and Donovan said the governor and a legislator applauded their rescue efforts.

The two men said US Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan, Jr. called them and told them, "On behalf of the people of the Virgin Islands, I want to say thank you."

In a Facebook post, Sen. Kurt A. Vialet, who represents the area in the legislature, lauded the young men, writing, "Everyday heroes with unassuming personalities live among us!" Vialet also said he gave a tribute to their bravery on the Senate floor.

And even walking down the street, Hamilton and Donovan said people recognize them and say they're "local heroes."

They say they will always remember the woman they saved.

"I can't stop thinking about her face, her expression," Donovan said. "Her eyes were wide open, in shock. It's something we've lived with every day since the incident."

Huntsville/Redstone
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 31°
Muscle Shoals
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 38°
Huntsville/Madison
Clear
40° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 36°
Decatur
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 35°
Fort Payne
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 34°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 498887

Reported Deaths: 10122
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson719121402
Mobile36328740
Madison32639469
Tuscaloosa24372421
Montgomery22765520
Shelby22231218
Baldwin19890289
Lee15057158
Calhoun13901294
Morgan13770255
Etowah13407325
Marshall11452213
Houston10130264
Elmore9499190
Limestone9429138
St. Clair9041227
Cullman8991183
Lauderdale8618214
DeKalb8507175
Talladega7628165
Walker6593259
Jackson6551104
Autauga633392
Blount6246128
Colbert6004121
Coffee5268104
Dale4676107
Russell407333
Franklin400078
Covington3998106
Chilton3902103
Escambia379273
Tallapoosa3631143
Clarke344553
Chambers3432111
Dallas3422142
Pike293273
Marion288595
Lawrence285386
Winston258568
Bibb245758
Marengo243057
Geneva240570
Pickens225557
Barbour213951
Hale212269
Fayette202257
Butler201766
Henry183641
Cherokee178140
Monroe166739
Randolph165140
Washington156836
Macon147745
Crenshaw146555
Clay146054
Cleburne139941
Lamar133933
Lowndes132851
Wilcox122825
Bullock117436
Conecuh107024
Perry106227
Sumter100432
Coosa90224
Greene88732
Choctaw55423
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 780894

Reported Deaths: 11534
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby877551513
Davidson81978873
Knox46346589
Hamilton40635463
Rutherford38663387
Williamson25433204
Sumner21498320
Montgomery17505213
Out of TN1711195
Wilson16553211
Unassigned15813126
Sullivan14489275
Blount14167184
Bradley13039141
Washington12834234
Maury12262162
Sevier12127165
Putnam10647170
Madison10130231
Robertson9016121
Hamblen8086165
Anderson8075158
Greene7317145
Tipton6972103
Coffee6423115
Dickson6274106
Gibson6197141
Cumberland6130123
Carter5996155
McMinn596293
Roane593896
Bedford5826120
Loudon573567
Jefferson5700119
Lawrence557883
Monroe536990
Warren532877
Hawkins527898
Dyer5243101
Franklin475485
Fayette468673
Obion437095
Lincoln415962
Rhea415373
Cocke402596
Cheatham396344
Marshall392257
Campbell382859
Weakley379660
Giles375597
Henderson362374
Carroll349281
White339766
Hardeman339165
Macon337473
Hardin331963
Lauderdale309742
Henry301475
Marion295245
Scott288344
Wayne288230
Overton286258
Claiborne283769
McNairy268653
Hickman267141
DeKalb266951
Haywood264960
Smith257736
Grainger244946
Trousdale239822
Morgan230838
Fentress229644
Johnson217338
Chester202448
Bledsoe201210
Crockett197647
Unicoi181647
Polk178722
Cannon178030
Union173334
Grundy170130
Lake167926
Sequatchie157227
Humphreys155221
Decatur154137
Benton151139
Lewis147525
Meigs126923
Jackson125734
Stewart124125
Clay107131
Houston103732
Perry103628
Moore94616
Van Buren79720
Pickett74623
Hancock49712

Community Events