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Celebrity Cruise Death: Bernice Kraftcheck, 60, Dies Parasailing

Woman Dies Parasailing

First Posted: 11/18/11 12:52 PM ET Updated: 11/18/11 12:52 PM ET

After a woman fell to her death, and another was seriously injured Tuesday, Celebrity Cruises will be cancelling all of its parasailing excursions in the Caribbean, Virgin Islands Daily News reports.

Bernice Kraftcheck, 60, and her daughter Danielle Haese, 34, were passengers on the Celebrity Eclipse, and embarked on a parasailing excursion run through Caribbean Watersports and Tours. The cause of the fall is still unknown, but squalls and wind gusts might be partly to blame, the paper reported.

"All parasailing shore excursions in the Caribbean have been cancelled indefinitely, pending the outcome of the investigation," Celebrity Cruises spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez told the paper.

The accident occurred one mile south of Water Island. The Coast Guard received a distress call at 4:31 p.m. after two boats came to the women's aid, one retrieving them from the water. The victims were taken to a dock where they were met by emergency responders. A medical examiner pronounced Kraftcheck dead at the scene. The official cause of death is unknown as an autopsy has not yet been performed.

Haese is said to be seriously injured.

Virgin Islands Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty told the paper that the agency's customer care "team is there to facilitate the need of any passenger that has had some type of accident."

Caribbean Watersports and Tours is closed until further notice.

According to FBI spokesman Harry Rodriguez it's unclear whether a crime was committed. A safety investigation is underway.

Sadly, cruise-related deaths have been cropping up lately. Last month a Norwegian cruise ship docked in Boston with two dead passengers aboard. Also last month, the FBI investigated a dead newborn found aboard the Carnival Dream.


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Filed by Rebecca Dolan  |