Published On: Fri, Jan 10th, 2020

Man drowns in Great Bay

Lifeless body drowning victim on beach (4)

PHILIPSBURG – The lifeless body of a man who regularly swims in Great Bay near Holland House was floating in the water this afternoon. A jet ski driver spotted the body and took immediate action.

Joseph Carty, from Marigot, works for a local company that sells jet ski and other water sports activities to beach goers in Philipsburg. He was riding a jet ski by himself when he saw the body in the water, about 65 meters off the beach, past a yellow buoy. “He was unresponsive, floating face down,” says Carty. “I pulled him on the jet ski and saw that he had a nose clip for swimming.” It was no easy task to get the body on shore, but Carty managed to do so quickly. “I work as a volunteer for the Fire Department on the French side, have had proper training and know how to act in an emergency like this.”

When the body was placed on the beach, it became clear that there were no signs of life. The victim is a white male, between 58 and 65 years old, according to Carty. “When I looked at him and saw the nose clip, I realized that I have seen this man many times before swimming in Great Bay, between the marina and the middle dock. He either lived in Philipsburg or was a regular visitor to St. Maarten.”

Before the police, ambulance and the coroner arrived, someone covered the body with a yellow and white towel of one of the five cruise ships that were in port today. Startled passengers went to the scene to ask bystanders if the victim was on board their ship.  It is the second time a person drowns in Great Bay within a week and a half; on December 30th a woman drowned in Great Bay. The victim was a national from Antigua & Barbuda and had traveled to St. Maarten as a passenger on board the Queen Mary 2.


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Tourist drowns in Great Bay
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