An employee of the Caneel Bay Resort suffered lacerations to his shoulder after a boating accident on Friday evening, May 22. The employee borrowed the boat from the resort and was just leaving Caneel when the accident occurred around 10 p.m.
The man lost control of the boat when his shirt became stuck in the steering wheel, explained V.I. National Park Acting Chief Ranger Jeff Mihan.
“When he was leaving the boat channel, he went up on plane and his shirt got caught on the knob of the steering wheel,” said Mihan. “This caused him to lose control of the steering wheel, which shifted all the way to the right. He was thrown from the boat.”
As the victim managed to stay afloat in the water, the boat, whose steering wheel was turned all the way to the right, began motoring in circles. The man narrowly avoided being completely run over by the vessel.
“The boat started circling and it came right back toward him,” said Mihan. “He was able to swim down far enough to where the propeller just knicked his shoulder.”
St. John EMS, St. John Rescue and the VINP responded to the scene. EMS recovered the victim, who was being examined on Caneel’s dock when the VINP and St. John Rescue arrived by water.
In the meantime, the boat had become tangled in a VINP mooring at Honeymoon Beach.
The man was transported to Myrah Keating and subsequently released. He is expected to make a full recovery.
No citations will be issued in the incident, Mihan added.