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POLICE: MAN'S DEATH ABOARD SHIP WAS ACCIDENTAL

July 30, 2002 – Investigators have ruled that the death of a man aboard a cruise ship docked at Havensight earlier this month was accidental.
An autopsy performed last week on the body of O'Neil Persaud, 31, determined that he died an "accidental death," Deputy Police Chief Theodore Carty announced Tuesday. He did not release the specific cause of death.
Officials aboard the Adventure of the Seas told police who were called to the ship on July 20 that Persaud had died after he was tranquilized while struggling with security officers aboard the Royal Caribbean International vessel.
Police detectives have completed their investigation into the death and the case has been turned over to the Attorney General's Office to determine whether any charges would be filed, Sgt. Annette Raimer, police spokeswoman, said Tuesday.
Attorney General Iver Stridiron said Tuesday afternoon that he had not yet seen the file on Persaud, so no decision has been made on whether the case warrants criminal charges.
Persaud, described by police as a native of Guyana who was carrying a Canadian passport, died aboard the Adventure of the Seas while the ship was in port at St. Thomas, cruise officials have said. Ernest Persaud, the man's uncle, said his nephew was a Canadian citizen and had lived in Canada since the age of 3.
Police have said he was vacationing on Sint Maarten when, for unknown reasons, he boarded the ship on July 19 with a man and woman who were on a cruise. When the ship arrived at St. Thomas the next morning, ship's security officers called police to say they had detained a stowaway.
The security officers had Persaud in a holding cell, but he became violent and they tried to restrain him, police said last week. A medical officer then tranquilized Persaud, and he died shortly thereafter, Raimer said. Police received the report of the death about noon.
"We think he was on some sort of drug already, and maybe the tranquilizer mixed with that and he died," Raimer said.
Stridiron said it took longer than usual to determine the cause and manner of death because one of the territory's medical examiners is on vacation and the other has been sick.

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