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Police Say Investigation Into Death Of Free Diver Off Of Hull Bay Continues: VIPD

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Police have identified the free diver whose body was recovered by the U.S. Coast Guard more than one week ago off of Hull Bay in St. Thomas.

Benjamin Rabbaini, 40, was positively identified as the dead man, the Virgin Islands Police Department said, adding that an autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

On October 17, at 9:19 p.m., the 911 Emergency Call Center received a report from a concerned citizen regarding a male going for a swim in Hull Bay and not returning to shore. Police officers’ search of the Hull Bay area was unsuccessful.

On October 18, at 6:33 a.m. — police officers, St. Thomas Rescue, and the U.S. Coast Guard —  resumed its search for the missing swimmer; and at 9:17 a.m., local divers in the waters off Hull Bay recovered the body of a man later identified as Rabbaini.

Detectives are asking anyone who may have seen Rabbani swimming on October 17, or who may have seen what happened to him, to please call 911, the Criminal Investigation Bureau at (340) 774-2211, or Crime Stoppers USVI at (800) 2228477 or online at

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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