Tourist dies in apparent drowning at St. John resort on Thursday

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Emergency responders found a man unresponsive and lying face down in the sand after an apparent drowning at the Westin St. John Resort and Villas on St. John the day after Christmas.

The man, whose name has not yet been released, was said to be on vacation after his family gave him and his wife a trip to St. John for the holidays, according to Bob Malacarne, chief training officer for St. John Rescue.

The man and his wife are from India, and they were with their sons and daughter, Malacarne said.

Westin General Manager Mike Ryan confirmed that the man and his family were staying at the Westin, and they were on the Westin's property when the incident occurred.

The V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency's emergency dispatchers received the call about the incident just after 11 a.m. Thursday. The agency alerted Emergency Medical Services and St. John Rescue, and both responded.

"Someone was in a dinghy and saw him and brought him in," said Malacarne, who said that the man was lying face down when they arrived, though emergency responders never found out why. "We don't how he got like that."

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation already was being performed when responders arrived, and rescue personnel continued it.

"He did have quite a lot of water in his lungs," said Malacarne.

The man was then loaded into an ambulance and taken to Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center on St. John. Medical personnel pronounced him dead slightly after noon.

The cause of death will remain unknown until an autopsy is performed, Malacarne said.

It is unknown whether the man had any health issues.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email

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