2 Men Rescue Woman in Wheelchair Who Fell Off Cruise Ship Dock: 'I Jumped Straight in the Water'
Kashief Hamilton and Randolph Donovan rescued a woman in a wheelchair who fell into the water on the St. Thomas pier on Aug. 12
Harrowing video footage shows the moments two men sprang into action to help a woman in a wheelchair who fell into the water from a cruise ship dock in St. Thomas last week.
The woman, a guest on the Carnival Fascination cruise ship, was with a family member when the chair fell into the water in the Virgin Islands on Aug. 12, a spokesperson for Carnival Cruise Line tells PEOPLE. That’s when a pair of local entertainers jumped into the water to help.
The men have been identified as Kashief Hamilton, a DJ, and Randolph Donovan, a stilt dancer, according to NBC News.
“I jumped straight in the water from the top level of the dock,” Donovan, 34, told NBC. “I removed her from the wheelchair because I didn’t want the wheelchair to sink with her in it.”
Video of the incident shows the men in the water as the woman holds on to a life ring. Donovan said he became tired as he tried to keep the woman from going underwater, prompting Hamilton to jump in.
“[Donovan] went from trying to rescue her and now he’s trying to survive,” Hamilton told NBC. “I can’t lose my friend, so I jumped in.”
They carried the woman to the edge of the dock, where cruise ship staff members threw a rope to the group. The woman is then shown being pulled to safety.
“The guest was seen by our medical team and did not sustain injuries,” the Carnival spokesperson says. “A complimentary replacement wheelchair has been provided for the duration of the cruise. Our most sincere thanks and appreciation to these individuals for their heroic efforts in assisting this guest.”
Hamilton recounted the incident on Facebook, writing that he and Donovan are okay.
“Wake up this morning set and ready to go Dj on WICO Dock for the tourist coming in on the carnival ship not knowing i will be saving a tourist life,” Hamilton wrote. “Thank God we all are safe and sound. The love that is coming is tremendous and i want to say thank you to each and everyone.”
Joseph Boschulte, the commissioner for the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, shared photos of the men, honoring them in a Facebook post.
“I want to thank and acknowledge two members of our Visitor Experience team at the Department of Tourism — Kashief Hamilton and Randolph Donovan, Jr. — who went above the call of duty yesterday to save a disabled Carnival Fascination passenger from drowning at The West Indian Company (WICO) dock,” Boschulte wrote.
“Our team at the Department of Tourism truly value their heroic efforts, and thanks to them, a young visitor’s life was saved,” he added. “We often say that ‘Tourism Is All of Us,’ and Kashief and Randolph truly embodied that message.”