Man found dead in hot tub at Sandals

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January 01, 2011

A 33-year-old guest of the Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort on West Bay Street was found dead in a hot tub on Tuesday night, police reported yesterday. The body of the man, who was not identified, was discovered around 11:30 p.m., police press liaison officer Sergeant Chrislyn Skippings said. Details were sketchy up to press time yesterday but according to preliminary police reports, the victim was said to be swimming when the incident occurred. Skippings said the man was taken to hospital by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel where he was pronounced dead. She added that police are investigating the incident. A short statement sent to The Nassau Guardian by Sandals Resort officials offered littl ...

Click here to read more at The Nassau Guardian

News date : 01/01/2011    Category : Crime

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sarah t  Thu, 2010/12/30 - 09:13 PM

I was a guest at the hotel that evening. The accident at the hot tub transpired at least an hour prior around 10:34. It took over 40 minutes for paramedics to arrive on the scene- far too late to assist. A group of caring individuals tried to revive the man with CPR but needed the help of an unavailable aed or hospital.

Jill  Mon, 2011/01/03 - 09:50 AM

I was a guest as well and saw this horrible event take place. He seemed to be stuck under the water for a time and guests were trying to get him out, yelling for employees to turn the power to the jacuzzi off. EMS took far too long to arrive and the situation was not handled appropriately. Does anyone know what actually happened?

J  Tue, 2011/01/04 - 02:07 PM

I was a guest at the resort and one of the many tourists that first assisted in helping this gentleman. He was held down by the suction at the bottom of the hot tub, where the drain cover fitting was. This was damaged, so it created a great suction. This was a horrific experience to be a part of. I am disgusted in the way resort staff handled the situation or should I say did nothing. We as tourists tried to handle the situation to the best of our capabilities. Response for EMS assistance was very slow. Details were very specific on everyones part so to say in the above article that details were sketchy is false. Overall, the way in which this situation was handled by Sandals was inappropriate.

Megan  Tue, 2011/01/04 - 09:53 PM

I am a dear friend of this gentleman. His name is John and he was an absolute wonderful guy. Of course all of his family, as well as his many, many, many friends, are devistated. But all of you people that helped John are in our minds, hearts and prayers as well. Thank you sooo much for trying to help him. This terrible tragedy cannot be easy on you and your families either. Again thank you so much for your heroic efforts. You all are greatly appreciated! Bless you! We all love you and will miss you John!! RIP!

Jennifer  Wed, 2011/01/05 - 12:13 PM

I too was a guest of the hotel. Our room was just across from the hot tub and we watched in horror as this event unfolded. So incredibly sad, and avoidable it seems. Our sympathy goes out to the family and friends.

Sheila  Wed, 2011/01/05 - 02:49 PM

sad, very sad. It is pathetic how long the EMS took to arrive. In the US they would have been there within 5-10 min. Why did it take so long for the Bahamian EMS to arrive? And don't get me started on Sandals who's staff did not know what to do, they just stood around to watch.

Concerned Canadian  Wed, 2011/01/05 - 06:15 PM

WOW...I can't believe something like this would happen in Bahamas all at the expense of a young man on vacation. Shame on you Sandals for not providing appropriate care for your guests!

Amber  Thu, 2011/01/06 - 12:30 AM

I'm a friend of John's and am HORRIFIED that this seems to be the second time in a month that this it true that Sandals paid off another couple that this happened to as well!?! It will never, never make up for the loss of John, but his family deserves to be LOADED after this incident of complete negligence. Sandals, what are you going to do about this???

Steve from Canada  Thu, 2011/01/06 - 10:34 AM

Amber, what is this other incident that you speak of? I believe it, but where is this information coming from as the comments on this page only refer to the one incident?

Mike j  Thu, 2011/01/06 - 04:16 PM

To johns family I'm so sorry this happened to him me and my girlfriend were the first into the hot tub we tried are hardest and best to save him the jacuzzi was sucking him under it was the saddest thing I have ever been apart of I'm so sorry for your loss, it makes me sick to see them lying in the above article no one from sandals even followed up with us either I can tell u everything my email is

Dudley  Thu, 2011/01/06 - 08:23 PM

we were here when it happened, we are still (unfortunately) here now, our minor troubles pale into insignificance.... our thoughts and prayers are with john's family and friends

Tzr  Thu, 2011/01/06 - 08:50 PM

Ok, I'm only a friend of a family member and my sympathy and support goes out to this family. In support of this family in hopes of answers, since this is a place of tourism, with todays many forms of video recording, maybe any and all that were present should notify the family of what may have been recorded. God's Peace

Tisha  Fri, 2011/01/07 - 12:15 AM

It is very sad to hear all of this. First, it seems like people need to get trained to do their jobs correctly. 2nd, they should have never been standing and watching, they should of had their butts in there helping. 3rd, money can't bring John back, but I would be owning that building. They should always make sure all their equipment is working and looking good. It is sad someone so young and innocent could be taken from their family and people just sit and watched. The resort needs to get their crap together. May God be with John's family during their time of bereavement. My heart goes out to all of you....

Amy :)  Fri, 2011/01/07 - 11:01 AM

To those who have helped in the situation, could you please email me your contact information, for as our family would like to thank you. Thanks a lot for what you tried to do. There is so much more to it. He left behind a loving girlfriend, two children, Tyler (15) and Landon (5, I think), 2 parents who loved him VERY much, 3 siblings and a brother in law, a nephew (and another on the way), and 4 grandparents. Johnny was a great guy. I pray that each one of you thinks to yourself: If God were to call me home at this moment, Are you ready? Have you talked with your children?, Your parents? Your wife? Do you know where you will spend eternity? For we are NOT guaranteed another breath of life! Love you all and thank you so much for your help. Yes I am angry at Sandals, but I know that they will be judged from God someday. Have a great day all and Blessings to you!

Amy :)  Fri, 2011/01/07 - 11:10 AM

Forgot my email:

7985  Fri, 2011/01/07 - 11:28 AM

I am a friend of John as well as a longtime frined of the family. John was such a warm and caring heart, he will always be remembered for his smile that could touch so many. RIP John you will be dearly missed. As for Sandals resort, I will never stay at one due to the negligence of their staff. They should ensure the safety of their guests 100, it doesn't sound like they ensured John's safety with 1 percent. Im very disappointed in Sandals. Thank you to all you wonderful souls who tried to help John, you truely are hero's. Thoughts and Prayers go out to John's family and those who tried to help John during this horrible tragedy!

S  Fri, 2011/01/07 - 02:59 PM

I was a guest at Sandals and was on the scene as members of our group jumped in to save him. I will definitley email you Amy as I recall much of the happenings of the tragic evening. I am still in disbelief of the NON-RESPONSE of the Sandals staff, there was obviously NO emergency protocall but that being said the guests had no emergency protcall and knew what to do? I am incredibly angry and heartbroken by the lack of human decency by this staff. To John's family I can only imgaine the pain and sorrow, my heart gooes out to you but please take comfort in knowing that he was surrounded by individuals who may have not known him but whose human life and soul we valued and tried our best. We are thinking of John and his family for this should not have happened and he is forever in our thoughts, God bless John and his family.

Kristy  Fri, 2011/01/07 - 03:36 PM

I went to High School with John. I haven't seen him since, but I know this. He was a wonderful guy who was nice to every single person I ever saw him come into contact with. He always had a ready smile for everybody. He certainly did nothing to deserve to have his life ended by the negligence of others!!! The things Iam reading disgust me, and make me sick to my stomach. This was tragic, senseless, and preventable. I'm so sorry for his family, and his childresn, especially. Rip John!

Shanelle M  Fri, 2011/01/07 - 08:59 PM

I too was a high school friend of John's he was 100 of everything everyone has been saying about him!!! I hope Sandals takes responsibilty for the neglect that took place that night!!!! We love you John and will be sadly missed!!!RIP

Keith Brais  Fri, 2011/01/07 - 10:09 PM

My name is Keith Brais. I've been contacted by John's family to help them through this process. John left behind an adopted son and another young boy he was going to adopt, his fiancee's son. If you Google search my name and Miami maritime attorney you will find me on the internet. I am interested in speaking with people who have first hand knowledge of this tragedy. Thank you,

Keith Brais  Fri, 2011/01/07 - 10:19 PM

My email address is kbrais@braislaw.comOn behalf of John's family ... Thank you,

Chad W.  Fri, 2011/01/07 - 11:22 PM

I worked with John, he was a very hard work and always had a smile on his face even on the days when there was no need for a smile, I think that Johns family should do like we do here in when we lose a loved one in such a tragic manner. Go put a memorial cross with his picture right in front of the drive way to the Sandals Resort to let everyone that comes there that the Sandals resort on cares about your money and not your well being or safety. To John rest peacefully in Gods embrace, and to Johns family I very sorry for your all lose know that John will be missed by his co-workers.

Jennifer  Sat, 2011/01/08 - 12:21 PM

I have been a lifelong friend of John's and his family and yes he was an amazing man with a heart of gold,and that smile of his will never be forgotten!! I am still in complete shock of the lack of care this joke of a resort provided. I can't believe staff just stood around and watched as this horrible tradegy happened! To all the staff that did NOTHING you will have your day of jugdement! To all of his family an friends, especially his sons, my thoughts and prayers continue to be sent your way! Rest in peace my friend JAV jr. gone but never forgotten Love you!!

Cinde  Sun, 2011/01/09 - 03:01 AM

This is just another reason for staying INSIDE the US if you're going to vacation. Rules for safety and such are so different outside our boarders, that you have to be aware that care and safety precaution aren't always taken when you travel outside the US. Where here it would be required that someone know lifesaving procedures if there is a local pool, it might not be the case outside the US. Just saying, be aware that other countries rules and regulations aren't the same as what we have here. That said, I'm sorry that this happened. RIP John.

Ken  Sun, 2011/01/09 - 01:34 PM

.This is horrible, and i want to thank everyone who tried to help John, as a friend of the family, I just want you to know you are greatly appreciated

Nicole10  Tue, 2011/01/11 - 11:36 AM

My name is Nicole Cleaveland. Johns fiance. I want to Thank everyone who did everything in their power to help John. You have a place in my heart. John is the love of my life and the love of two boys and Im going to fight as hard as I can for John. Again, Im screaming for help. If you have any information that could help us or if you was at Sandals with me that Horrible night please contact me or Keith Brais from

matt smith  Wed, 2011/01/12 - 12:50 PM

hi i am matt smith johns cousin. i am going through the toughest time of my life right now. john i miss you with all my heart. i wish i got to see you again because i barley got to see my cousin like 4 or 5 times.

Arron  Wed, 2011/01/12 - 06:53 PM

I am John's little sister. He was the best big brother a girl could ask for. He was a great Uncle to my little boy and it breaks my heart that he wont be here when I have my second child in July. I want to thank everyone who tried to help John that night. I can say that my whole family is greatful for everything you all tried to do. He will always be in our hearts.

Stefanie  Fri, 2011/01/14 - 08:17 PM

John was at one time my husbands and I brother-in-law. We were lucky enough to become friends with him. We created some of our best and most fun memories by spending time with John and my sister. Our hearts are breaking for what happened to John, and especially for our nephew!

k  Sun, 2011/01/16 - 09:47 PM

To Nicole and the family and friends of John, we are deeply sorry for your loss. My husband and I were also guests who witnessed this tragedy and tried to help. We are, as seems to be the common thread with all who witnessed, shocked and horrified by the response of Sandals staff as well as paramedics and police (who showed no signs of investigation that night or the following day). Our hearts and prayers go out to you and we are forever changed. We will be in contact to share our story with you.

Francis  Wed, 2011/05/18 - 07:53 AM

The family are now taking Sandals International to court. They said the staff did nothing to help and the ambulance took over 45 min to arrive.