The Inter-island ferry "Christena" that sank off St. Kitts in five minutes on Saturday (August?
The Inter-island ferry "Christena" that sank off St. Kitts in five minutes on Saturday (August I) with an estimated total of at least 125 dead, was packed 50% beyond capacity, a Government spokesman said on Sunday (August 2).
Survivors said the two decks of the Government-owned Ferry, were crowded with people as it sailed between St. Kitts and Nevis. Those on deck were spilled into the shark-infested waters, but many below decks went down in 22 fathoms of water entombed in the boat's steel superstructure. A total of 94 people have been reported safe but according to Edrade Warwyn, Nevis' harbour master and chief revenue officer, there were more than 250 people aboard the 75 foot (23 metres) launch. A Government spokesman said they believe the capsizing was caused by uneven distribution of passengers but there would be a full Government inquiry.
Premier Rober Brashaw of St. Kitts/Nevis declared a day of national mourning.
Arrangements were made to bury some of the victims in a mass grave. Huge crowds of people from both islands gathered at Charlestown's Alexandra Hospital to hear if their relatives or friends were among the rescued.
A survivor of the disaster spoke of the last moments: