Responders rescue 8 people after boat runs ashore on St. Thomas


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ST. THOMAS - Rescuers pulled six people from a boat that ran ashore in the early hours of New Year's Day.

All adults, they were on their way back from New Year's celebrations on Jost Van Dyke, according to Capt. Alan Wentworth of Sea Tow U.S. Virgin Islands.

The company responded to the incident after hearing the passengers report that they were in distress over the radio at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, he said.

Four of the six passengers were injured after the 27-foot motor boat "Diversity" crashed into an outcropping of rocky shoreline known as Water Point on the east end of St. Thomas, according to Lt. Adam Skordinski of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Skordinski could not comment on whether alcohol was a factor in the incident, though he said that the Department of Planning and Natural Resources would be the likely investigating party into the incident.

The boat was traveling at about 25 knots, according to Wentworth, when it ran ashore.

Three of the passengers were loaded onto backboards, Wentworth said, though he could not recall what injuries the passengers sustained.

Responders from St. Thomas Rescue transported the injured passengers to the St. Thomas Yacht Club where they awaited ambulances, while the U.S. Coast Guard transported the uninjured passengers back to shore, according to Skordinski.

The ambulances transported the injured passengers to Schneider Hospital.

Rescue efforts lasted about four hours, according to Wentworth, who noted that Sea Tow U.S. Virgin Islands returned to the scene after dawn to tow the stranded vessel.

The vessel was seriously damaged and was transported to a haul-out facility on St. Thomas, Wentworth said.

Skordinski said he was unable to provide the names of the passengers involved in the accident.

Schneider Hospital's policy is not to release the condition of patients to anyone who is unable to provide the patients' names.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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