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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, July 13, 2024


Aug. 28, 2002 – First a bomb threat and then a man overboard marred Tuesday's visit to St. Thomas by the Explorer of the Seas cruise ship. Authorities determined the threat was a hoax, and the man was rescued unharmed.
The Explorer of the Seas was late leaving Charlotte Amalie because someone Hs telephoned a bomb threat to The West Indian Co. around 5:30 p.m. The caller said a "device" had been placed aboard the ship.
"They evacuated the vessel," Calvin Wheatley, WICO spokesman, said.
Then, around 8:10 p.m., as the ship passed Marriott's Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort on its way out of the harbor, 39-year-old Frank Flunk fell overboard.
He was rescued 15 minutes later by the Port Authority pilot boat, according to Planning and Natural Resources Department enforcement director Lucia Francis.
"I could see several boats out there in the water," said Wheatley, who viewed the incident from his Crown and Hawk home overlooking the harbor.
Francis said Flunk, a passenger aboard the Royal Caribbean International vessel, appeared unharmed and was returned to the ship. Francis did not know his place of residence.
Deputy Police Chief Theodore Carty said in a release Wednesday that members of the Hazmat Task Force, made up of personnel from various government agencies, responded and determined that the telephoned threat was a hoax.
"The seriousness of evacuating a large vessel, calling out key personnel and police just for a crank call, is a charge that may result in prison as a penalty, or a high fine," Carty said.

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