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Cruz Bay
Tuesday, November 28, 2023


A broken-down Wave Runner left two St. Thomas teen-agers swimming off Hull Bay for almost three hours Sunday afternoon before they were rescued.
The jet-ski-type water vehicle stopped running and began to take on water about a mile from Hull Bay beach, according to driver Ahmad Abu-soud, 14, and passenger Danny Estrada, 16. They thought the craft was about to sink and, wearing life jackets, started swimming toward the Tropaco Point section of Hull Bay at about 3 p.m., according to Estrada.
Local surfer Walter Bostwick had spotted the Wave Runner bobbing off the north coast waters from his Hull Bay residence at about 5 p.m. Contacted by phone, a Coast Guard Auxiliary member told Bostwick a Hull Bay-based fishing boat could reach the vessel long before assistance from authorities.
Some Hull Bay fishermen were about to gas up and go out when Randy LaPlace and Chris Berry, friends of the jet ski pair, arrived at the beach in a small Boston Whaler. When informed about the jet ski, the two teen-agers quickly headed out to sea themselves.
LaPlace said, "We were going to look for the jet ski when we heard Ahmad and Danny yelling out by the point." The boys were plucked from the waters near the point at about 5:30 p.m. by LaPlace and Berry.
Abu-soud told LaPlace that the Wave Runner, owned by his family, had sunk, but LaPlace said, "No, they spotted it from the beach."
The four teens retrieved the jet ski and towed it slowly back to the beach. When the craft was placed on its trailer and pulled up the boat ramp, water poured from the back. A quick inspection of the craft revealed that an exhaust hose had become disconnected and had allowed water into the interior.

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