St. John News and Happenings: Royal Miss Belmar

Royal Miss Belmar Aground on Little St. James, US Virgin Islands
Royal Miss Belmar Aground on Great St. James, USVI

On the night of July 4, the Royal Miss Belmar, an 89-foot passenger ferry, ran aground on Great St James Island with 102 people aboard. Passengers and crew were rescued by the US Coast Guard and Good Samaritan boat crews. Five people were injured.

How did it happen?

No official word out yet.

A little to the right and it might have been worse

I was out that night with Jacob watching the fireworks. The Royal Miss Belmar was anchored close by. They left when we did. shortly after the finale.

The night was dark. The swells were really big that day in Pillsbury Sound especially in the area of the St. Jameses.

The Miss Belmar was headed for St. Croix. She as seaward (west ) of the buoy marking the reef that extends out from Gallows Point and was safely in the Pillsbury Sound. All she had to do was leave the channel between St. John and the row of islands on the other side, south of St. Thomas, Great St. James, Little St. James, Dog Island and Dog Rocks. Plenty of room here.

It was dark, but you should be able to see an island. Looks like the Miss Belmar was equipped with radar as well. I wonder what the captain has to say.

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