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HomeNewsLocal newsCoast Guard Seeks Suspect Boat, Operator in Hit and Run

Coast Guard Seeks Suspect Boat, Operator in Hit and Run

The photo shows damage to the bow of an aluminum skiff that was reportedly struck by a white hulled center console vessel during a hit and run incident on Jan. 24 in Cruz Harbor on St. John. (Photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard)

Marine investigators from the U.S. Coast Guard are asking for the public’s help in identifying the operator of a suspect vessel, a white-hulled center console boat, involved in a hit and run incident the night of Jan. 24 near the National Park Service and Caneel Bay fuel dock in Cruz Harbor, St. John.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment St. Thomas is investigating the incident, which left two passengers, a man and a woman, seriously injured. One of the two remains hospitalized in critical condition, according to the Coast Guard news release.

Marine investigators are sharing information on the investigation with the Virgin Islands Police Department and the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, the Coast Guard reported.

According to the Coast Guard, at approximately 9 p.m., Jan. 24, a small aluminum skiff was leaving Cruz Bay when a white-hulled vessel, approximately 20 to 30 feet in length, entered the harbor at a high rate of speed and collided with the skiff. One of the passengers from the skiff was thrown into the water and sustained multiple injuries, while the other was knocked unconscious with life-threatening injuries.

Good Samaritans immediately began to render assistance, pulling the injured passenger from the water and taking the other passenger to the dock. The two victims were transported to the Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas.

The white-hulled vessel reportedly continued into Cruz Bay at a high speed, turned around by the NPS dock and fled the scene without stopping to render assistance or to check on the other vessel. The vessel was later seen being placed on a trailer near the Cruz Bay boat ramp and towed inland on St. John. The white hulled vessel appeared to suffer significant damage to the bow as a result of the collision.

Officials urged anyone with information on the case to contact Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment St. Thomas by calling 340-776-3497 or sending an email to STT@uscg.mil.

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