CRUZ BAY — A 78-year-old Wisconsin man with an “all USVI” name drowned while snorkeling near one of St. John’s most popular beaches on Wednesday morning, authorities said.
Thomas William St. John of Shorewood, Wisc. was positively identified by next of kin as the drowning victim, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.
Detectives was notified of a possible drowning that occurred at Maho Bay in St. John at 11:29 a.m., according to the VIPD.
St. John traveled Wednesday morning with his wife, and his son to Maho Bay for a snorkeling adventure from a charter vessel, police said.
“After several minutes of snorkeling, a passenger of the charter vessel noticed that the male was floating face down in the water for several minutes,” VIPD spokeswoman Kishma Chichester said. “Several passengers removed the male from the water and onto the vessel.”
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation was started on St. John after he was unresponsive, according to Chichester.
He was then transported to Cruz Bay to be transported to the Myrah Keating-Smith Clinic via
ambulance where he finally was pronounced dead, according to police.
Meanwhile, people from around the country expressed condolences for the fallen snorkeler.
“Reminder to be safe in the water, and snorkel with a buddy – always! My condolensces to this man’s family – he was down to visit his daughter, who works at Maho,” Minde H. said from Buffalo, New York. 🙁
“We all need to know our own physical limitations and the conditions at sea. I lucked out on a rough day at Waterlemon last year going solo and learned my lesson. Still, I don’t think its all that bad to do some easy solo snorkeling with my wife sitting on the beach in a calm area with other people around,” Kad said from Nokomis, Florida.
This case is currently under active investigation by the Criminal Investigation Bureau.
Anyone with any information regarding this incident is urged to contact 911, Criminal Investigation
Bureau, Detective J. Carty at 340-693-8880 ext. 5207, Detective S. Rhymer at 340-774-
2211 ext. 5572 or Crime Stoppers USVI at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).