Saturday, July 2, 2022


What to Know of the Deaths of Three Americans at Sandals Resort Exuma

The deaths of three Americans at a Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort in Exuma were mystifying until the autopsy report revealed they died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The deaths, which are unusual for the Bahamas, were reported on international news stations while speculations swirled that it could negatively impact the Bahamas’ tourism product.

The Americans have been identified as husband and wife–68-year-old Michael Phillips and 65-year-old Robbie Phillips of Tennesee; and 64-year-old Vincent Paul Charello of Florida.

What have the investigations revealed?

The first test sent to a lab in Philadelphia revealed that carbon monoxide killed the three American tourists and was received by authorities on Sunday.

The family hired a private pathologist to investigate the deaths.

What happened?

The unfortunate incident affected four guests in villas next to each other, killing only three. The survivor, 65-year-old Donnis Chiarella was paralyzed in a Florida hospital.

The day before, the guests sought treatment from a medical doctor on the island after experiencing nausea and convulsions. They returned to the villas and investigators believe their deaths occurred between 11 pm Thursday and 8 am on Friday.

Michael Phillips and Robbie Phillips who were celebrating their wedding anniversary were found deceased in the bedroom and bathroom of their villa. They were travel agents specializing in Caribbean honeymoons and romantic getaways.

Michael and Robbie Phillips were both found dead in their villa at Sandals Bahamian Resort in Exuma.

Vincent Paul Charello was discovered dead on the floor of the villa. Donnis Charello was paralyzed with swollen arms and legs and was discovered screaming for help before she was flown to Florida for medical assistance.

Reports surfaced that some guests at the resort complained of a strange odor from an insecticide sprayed in the area, the day before the reported deaths.

Who is responsible for the deaths?

Sandals will be responsible for the deaths of the three American visitors. A source of the carbon monoxide leak has not been released or investigated as yet, but pools and spas are common sources of carbon monoxide poisoning since damaged exhaust systems from heaters are responsible for numerous fatalities or injuries every year.

Minnis Remembers Sandals Resort Owner as ‘a Lover of the Bahamas’

Following the death of hotel mogul Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis remembered him as “a loyal son of the Caribbean, who delighted in the extraordinary potential and breathtaking beauty of the region.”

Minnis said Gordon was a “great friend and lover of the Islands of the Bahamas and the Bahamian people.”

Gordon established the Sandals Resort at a time “when the Bahamas was looking for investors to acquire government-owned hotels.”

“Gordon significantly and immediately added to the number of rooms and employees of the resort and the reputation of the Bahamas,” he said.

Minnis added, “Gordon “Butch” Stewart “Stewart was an intrepid innovator. He was the ultimate dreamcatcher who was happy to listen to the ideas of others and to change his mind when inspired or enthused by the dreams and ideas of others.

“His commitment to the region was manifest in the economic impact of his properties throughout the region, including his resorts in the Bahamas at Sandals Royal Bahamian on New Providence and at Fowl Cay and Emerald Bay in the Exumas.”

Minnis said Gordon was enthusiastic about the extraordinary potential of the Caribbean and often, remarked about the untapped potential of the Bahamas.

Gordon died in hospital on Monday. He was 79-years-old.

Hotel Mogul and Sandals Founder Dies at 76

Hotelier and founder of Sandals Resorts, Gordon Stewart died in hospital on Monday night at 79 years old.

In a statement released after his death, his son, Adam stated that his father’s death was “unbelievable.”

“He chose to keep a very recent health diagnosis private and we respected that wish,” Adam said.

He described his father as a “gifted entrepreneur,” a “marketing genius,” “talented showman” and “a dreamer who could dream bigger and better than anyone.”

Who was Gordon Butch Stewart?

  • He was born in 1941 in Kingston, Jamaica, and was given the nickname “Butch” by an American sailor.
  • He established Sandals, which became a popular hotel chain in the Caribbean region.
  • He was also responsible for Beaches Resorts and the parent company Sandals Resorts International.
  • The tourism mogul and businessman was the founder, owner, and chairman of The ATL Group and its subsidiaries Appliance Traders and The Jamaica Observer.
  • Prime Minister Andrew Holness described the hotel mogul as having “an eye for detail, and [an] ability to market and deliver world-class service in any endeavor.”
  • Holness said Stewart was an extraordinary human being with an unwavering commitment to the social good.