US demands extradition of two British accused in tourist death

MIAMI - The United States has requested the extradition from St Maarten of two Britons accused over the drowning death of an American tourist when their vessel capsized in the Florida Keys in 2011.

Christopher Jones, 50, and Alison Gracey, 47, are both facing involuntary manslaughter charges over the death of Aimee Rhoads, then 36. An indictment against them has been unsealed, officials said Tuesday.

The two men, who operated the "GET WET" commercial dive charter boat, were arrested on June 5 on the Dutch Caribbean island.

"I never expected this day to come," Rhoads's widower Pat Rhoads wrote after the arrest in a blog dedicated to his deceased wife.

"No matter how much time they do, it won't be enough to make up for Aimee's loss."

They were also accused of lying to the authorities.

Jones faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and Gracey faces eight years, if convicted.

"The alleged unlawful and careless manner in which the defendants operated the boat caused the death of an individual scuba diver," the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida said in a statement.

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