On December 11, 2013, 66 year old Steve Cummings, who had been staying at Sunset Bay Marina for the last several years, drowned off Bermuda when his 65 ft military tugboat sank. He was on his way to join his wife Rose who had returned to Malta to be with a sick parent. Steve was a very experienced mariner, having sailed around the world and owned boats his whole life. He bought Silent Thunder, which was built in the 1950’s, and completely renovated the interior to make it a comfortable home. He was a quarter mile off the Bermuda coast having just left to start his TransAtlantic cruise, when his boat got a leak by a thru-hull, and two of his three bilge pumps stopped working. Steve called for help, abandoned ship and took his two cats in a dinghy. People arrived where the boat had been within minutes, but the boat had sunk and Steve was nowhere to be found. A few days later Steve, his cats and the dinghy washed ashore.
On December 21, friends of Steve gathered at Sunset Bay Marina for a very touching memorial service. His ashes were thrown off the end of Dock A by his wife and relatives. Poems and prayers were read, including one written for the occasion by Gil, a sailor who also resides here. A wreath was sent down the river with his ashes, then each person threw a flower into the water. Friends shared stories about this quiet, helpful man after we ate a potluck dinner. Below are a few pictures of the service and get-together. At the end of the evening, we all raised a glass of Dr Pepper, Steve’s favorite drink, in a toast to a friend who died as he lived, on the sea.