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Family 'thought Caribbean death was tragic accident'

A map shows St Vincent in the Caribbean. Credit: Google Maps

The daughter of a British man found dead on a burned out life raft in the Caribbean has said her family believed his death to be a "tragic accident" and was unaware that it was being investigated as suspicious.

Police are reportedly looking for John Garner's Norwegian wife after a murder investigation was launched into his death.

Mr Garner's daughter Elizabeth, 37, told the MailOnline that her stepmother had left St Vincent two days before Mr Garner to return to Norway to look after her young children.

She said: "This is a shock for everybody. We have not been told that this is being treated as suspicious. As far as we have been told, it is being treated as a tragic accident."

Witness: Garner 'had lacerations to face and legs'

Diver Kay Wilson, who has lived in St Vincent and the Grenadines for 12 years, was out on a dive trip when one of her crew members spotted smoke on the horizon at around 11.45am local time on Wednesday.

She told Daybreak via Skype: "What I was able to see, he had lacerations to his face and severe lacerations to his legs.

"Every indication was that there had been a series of explosions. There was debris downwind from the vessel.

"The victim's liferaft - he tried to deploy it but from what we could see it hadn't deployed correctly and because of its proximity to the boat and the heat coming downwind, the heat had melted part of the liferaft."


Dead man's Norwegian partner 'still on island'

The Jamaica Observer said a preliminary police investigation found the couple arrived in St Vincent and the Grenadines by air on January 19, and that they had been granted an extension to remain until April 19.

The newspaper said checks had revealed Ms Hukkelaas had not left the state by any of its air or sea ports.

Police 'suspect foul play' after British sailor's death

Police have now launched a murder investigation and are understood to be searching for a woman named Heidi Hukkelaas, reportedly his wife, with whom he flew to St Vincent on January 19.

St Vincent police commissioner Michael Charles said Mr Garner's death was being treated as suspicious and that investigators were looking at "all lines of inquiry", the Daily Mail said.

Mr Charles said:

We suspect foul play and will investigate the matter fully.

Miss Hukkelaas is a person of interest and as with every murder investigation we have to look at everyone and everything and will leave no stones unturned.

British sailor 'found dead on burned out life raft'

A British sailor has been found dead on a burned out life raft after his yacht was destroyed by fire in the Caribbean, it was reported.

The body of John Garner, 53, was discovered on the raft by the coastguard off St Vincent on Wednesday afternoon.

He had reportedly suffered injuries to his head and both legs and was taken to the island's Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police have now launched a murder investigation and are understood to be searching for a woman named Heidi Hukkelaas, reportedly his wife, with whom he flew to St Vincent on January 19.


Cruise ship passengers told they can leave ship

The Carnival Dream's 5,600 passengers and crew have been told that they have the option to leave the stranded ship to visit the port of St. Maarten until their scheduled return home.

A combination of commercial and private chartered planes are on their way to collect the passengers and taken them on to their final destinations.

A view of the Carnival Dream cruise ship on a previous journey. Credit: REUTERS/John Halley

Carnival launched review of cruise ships this week

Earlier this week, Carnival Cruise Lines President and Chief Executive Gerry Cahill said the company had launched a comprehensive review of its entire fleet.

It comes after a fire crippled the Carnival Triumph in the Gulf of Mexico last month.

Gerry Cahill, President and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines Credit: Reuters

Carnival: All guests on Dream 'safe and comfortable'

The Carnival Dream has a technical issue with the ship’s backup emergency diesel generator which our engineering team is currently working on.

Yesterday, during regularly scheduled testing of the ship’s emergency diesel generator, a malfunction occurred. At no time did the ship lose power and the ship’s propulsion systems and primary power source was not impacted. The ship is at dock in St. Maarten. All guests are safe and comfortable.

There were periodic interruptions to elevators and restroom services for a few hours last night. However, all hotel systems are functioning normally and have been functional since approximately 12.30am.

We are very sorry for this disruption to our guests' vacation plans and extend our sincere apologies.

– Carnival Cruise Lines

Passenger describes scenes on stranded Dream ship

Gregg Stark, his wife and two young children are travelling on the Carnival Dream which is currently stranded in the Caribbean after experiencing technical issues.

He told CNN:

There's human waste all over the floor in some of the bathrooms and they're overflowing -and in the state rooms.

The elevators have not been working. They've been turning them on and off, on and off.

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