The report of a cigarette boat, or go-fast, grounding in the area of Newfound Bay on the remote northeast shore of St. John on Tuesday, January 7, and injuries to at least two passengers resulted in the detention and deportation of two Dominican Republic nationals.
The two men were treated and released from Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center on St. John before their deportation, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol spokesperson.
As many as three persons were reported injured in what first was reported to V.I. Police Department as a boat accident in Newfound Bay, which is protected by a shallow fringing reef with a narrow entry channel and is outside the Virgin Islands National Park boundary at neighboring Drekets Bay.
At 7:54 a.m. Tuesday, January 7, “a man called to report traveling to Cruz Bay with two individuals who were injured in a possible boat accident in the area of Newfound Bay,” according to the police report at the VIPD Leander Jurgen Command. The report was listed as an Accidental Injury.
At 10:57 a.m. on the same day, the police log recorded the “Gov. of V.I. called to report a possible third person involved in a possible boat accident in the area of Newfound Bay.” That report also was listed as an Accidental Injury.
A U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson confirmed they received a report of a grounding from a passing charter sailboat.
“Sea Tow was able to remove the vessel,” said USCG spokesperson Ricardo Castrodad, who added that the boat was towed to St. Thomas. “We didn’t receive any indication of pollution from the grounding.”
V.I. Police Department Leander Jurgen Commander Sgt. Maria Jones said VIPD assisted in the incident, but the Dominican Republic nationals were taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
“So far we only had two persons, both nationals of the Domincan Republic, checked for medical needs,” Jeffrey Quinones of the CBP told Tradewinds. “They didn’t need any treatment and were expeditiously removed from the U.S.”
The reported Newfound Bay accident came less than one week after several people were seriously injured and rescued when a boat returning from the world-renowned New Year’s Eve celebration on Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands struck rocks off the north shore of St. Thomas near Coki Point in the early morning of January 1.
There was no further information available from Roy L. Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas on the condition or the victims of that incident.