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Crewmember killed in tender accident in St. Maarten
Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 5:25 PM
Joined: 02/05/2008
Posts: 392

Another tender accident has claimed a life, according to, who reports that crewmember Andy Valero lost his life in St. Maarten sometime after 1:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 2, 2011. reports that Valero was the engineer on M/Y Summerwind. claims that Valero had been at the Soggy Dollar bar on Friday evening. He left at 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning. The article claims Valero was not drunk, but describes him as “happy.” The report says that the yacht’s owner and Valero’s fellow crewmembers became concerned when Valero did not return to the vessel.
The tender Valero was driving was found with the engine not only still running, but in full throttle. says that the tender was returned to the vessel, which reportedly was moored in Porto Cupecoy marina, but there was no sign of Valero. “An examination of the tender revealed front-end damage consistent with it having been involved in a collision with another vessel,” reported.
Valero’s crewmates and the crew of nearby vessels set out in search parties, but were unable to find Valero – the Coast Guard later joined the search.
According to, Valero’s body was found near a buoy at 3 p.m. Saturday, which led the police to believe that the tender had struck the buoy, rather than another vessel. also reports unconfirmed information that suggests Valero may have had a heart attack before drowning.
Valero leaves behind a wife and two children in the Philippines.  

Calls for information to the St. Maarten police department and the prosecutor’s office were unsuccessful.

Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 6:50 PM
Joined: 27/11/2008
Posts: 4

My sincere condolences goes to his family back in the Philippines.
Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 6:57 PM
Joined: 19/09/2008
Posts: 1

I briefly worked on summerwind last winter and had met Andy. I am very saddened by this news. My thoughts go out to his crewmates and family.
Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 6:59 PM
Very sad ...once again we see the dangers of high speed tenders being used by crew late at night . I don't mean to generalize, but, more often kids are hired on yachts that have never been around the water growing up . Many of us had Whalers and small skiffs as youngsters and our parents taught us small boat seamanship . As the industry gets filled with 'back packing kids looking for adventure' I am certain we will see more of these accidents. Or, maybe we will now all be required to be fleeced out of another thousand dollars for classes on tender handling . The schools are surely going to push for this certification .
Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 7:27 PM
Joined: 17/07/2008
Posts: 26

I met Andy a couple of years ago at the Soggy Dollar playing pool. He was a good player and a nice guy. He had been in the industry a while so not one of the backpacking kids that comes along. Sad to here that about him. Condolences to his family.
Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 7:32 PM
Joined: 30/10/2010
Posts: 1

Sorry to hear about this tragic news my thoughts go out to his family

Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 11:47 PM
Mr Anonymous, before you go and post your generalized reply nest time, perhaps you should be more aware of who you are talking about. Regardless of the vessel concerned, the crew member involved was not a backpacking 20 something.  Think before you open your mouth!!!

Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 1:36 AM
Joined: 12/08/2008
Posts: 3

This is unreal that you so called professionals have not once mentioned the fact that alcohol contributed to this shameful accident. What captain would allow a crew member to spend the evening until 1AM in a bar and allow them to drive the boss' tender back to the vessel. I sure would not. This industry is so pathetic that it does not recognize one of its most troubling problems.
Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 5:26 AM
A sad event no matter how you look at it, but no reason for everyone to start pointing fingers at what they perceive to be wrong with the industry or training institutions etc. If the reason for the accident was a heart attack, intoxication, inexperience, bad decisions or combination of all of them lets at least take some consolation in the fact that in this case it would appear that the only victim in this incident was the individual himself and not a number of other completely innocent bystanders as has so often been the case in past incidents. My condolences to his friends and family and I hope that "Island bureaucracy" does not hinder getting to the truth of the matter.
Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 10:34 AM
And here we go again. Another opportunity for wanna be "Captains" to jump up on their high horses and start shooting off their mouths before they know the full truth in the vain hope that people will recognise them and say "oh What guy, What a Captain". You don't know the facts so shut your mouths and pay some respect to the dead. My condolences to the man’s family.
Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 12:32 PM
Joined: 12/07/2010
Posts: 57

Very sad indeed, There has not been enough done about these "accidents" involving late night high speed tenders. I am guilty myself of this, 20 years ago. I recommend his family go after the Owner, captain and boat policy for allowing this, after a large payout maybe the insurance company's will take note and impose rules of conduct for these expensive and dangerous vessels and equipment. If the only consequences are interviewing a new engineer there will be no lesson learned. I hate to be so harsh but that's the way I see it . Crew should not be encouraged to operate these vessels and equipment under the influence at 1am. I wouldn't let my kid drive his car this way why let an engineer do it. The use of alcohol whilst being paid to care for any vessel is out of integrity. If you are sleeping on a vessel you are being paid to care for her. The incessant abuse of alcohol really should stop. Why not let Andy's passing be a wake up call to all of you who partake excessively. My most sincere condolences to the Family.
Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 12:34 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026

Unless rules have changed, the Lagoon and anchorages are " NO WAKE ZONES". No wake implies slow speed. Since superyachts spend a lot of money locally , the rules probably don't apply to their crew when coming back from the bars at night. . On the plus side, at least the tender didnt collide with a Mom, dad and thier kids as they peacefully rowed their Dink back home.
Capt Kaj
Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 3:06 PM
Joined: 05/08/2008
Posts: 83

Here we go again, seems like a weekly occurrance doesn´t it. Another accident, another death. Regardless of how this guy died (possible heart attack or whether he hit the buoy), still doesn´t take away the time and situation and reality of the death, 0100 hrs and driving a tender after returning from the boozer. He didn´t even have to be legless to die, maybe he fell asleep, maybe he swerved to miss another tender doing the very same thing?? There are 101 different possibilities, BUT none take away the fact he was there at the time he was and was returning from the pub. DON´T MISS THE POINT.


If you idiots maintain the very same leniency and attitude towards boozing and whilst Captains also do the same thing and believe that this is an acceptable practice, and believe me, many Captains are as guilty as their crew, then we will continue to see the same statistics coming through Dockwalk every week for quite some time to come.


I also blame port authorities. Try the same practice in ports and waters in Australia where they can and do breathalise on a regular basis anyone behind the wheel of anything with a motor and see how long you´d last! Fines, license suspensions and confiscations are common, the whole system works because they care. In the Med´ and Caribbean it seems that the use of tenders or larger in tandem with alcohol are still an anomoly in the system and it appears they don´t care. There is no need for people to change because they are getting away with it. That is, until they hit someone or something and kill themselves or others.

Capt Kaj

Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 3:07 PM

Hey Junior,

Great new photo, I thought they only had black and white photos when you were that age? Maybe even poloroids but definitely not colour ones!

Capt Edward P
Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 6:50 PM
Joined: 06/01/2011
Posts: 81

Poor old SXM is not getting a good press is it. At least this guy has not had his nipples and teeth removed - this is definitely a bonus. On the downside, it is regrettable indeed that he had been at the pub but who knows what the blood-level stats will show, presumably they will do this. Best we let the facts come out . I feel sorry for his wife and kids. Captain
Capt Edward P
Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 6:54 PM
Joined: 06/01/2011
Posts: 81

Might juss also say that I nearly got run-down with owner and wife on-board in our tender in February in Falmouth, W.I which we were operating with battery navlights, - no-one else was, (up to around 12-15ft - or appeared to have lights fitted to their 30 HP flubber-dubbers.) A light stuck on the engine is not sufficient either. Captain Ed........
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