- Written by Tom Oat
Varlack Venture’s Capitol Venture, above at the Cruz Bay dock, was back in service after the mid-week collision with a charter sailboat on a sunset cruise on Wednesday, October 23 off Red Hook, St. Thomas.
RED HOOK – U.S. Coast Guard marine investigators from Marine Safety Detachment St. Thomas are investigating the cause of a Wednesday, October 23, evening collision between the passenger ferry Capitol Venture and the commercial daysail vessel New Horizon, which occurred approximately a half nautical mile east of the Red Hook, St. Thomas, Channel entrance.
The incident was reported to the Coast Guard by the crew of each vessel at approximately 6 p.m. on Wednesday, according to a USCG press release issued on Thursday morning, October 24.
“Following the collision, the Capitol Venture, carrying 176 passengers and five crew, continued to make its way to the Red Hook ferry terminal, while the New Horizon, with 24 persons and four crewmembers onboard, proceeded to Sapphire Marina, where they were met by Coast Guard marine investigators,” according to the USCG statement.
Delrise Varlack of Varlack Ventures had no comment on the incident, citing the active U.S. Coast Guard investigation.
Sailboat Owner Has Conflicting Reports
The owner of the 65-foot New Horizons, which has conducted day sails and sunset cruises from St. Thomas for most of the past two decades, told the Virgin Islands Daily News he received reports from the passengers and crew aboard his vessel which conflicted with the USCG report.
Tim Krygsveld, who was off-island at the time of the incident, did not return a telephone call for comment from St. John Tradewinds on Friday, October 25.
No major injuries were reported to the Coast Guard from the 176 passengers and five crew members on board the ferry, while a minor toe injury was reported from one of the 24 passengers and four crew members aboard the sailing vessel who was treated by Emergency Medical Service personnel in St. Thomas, according to the USCG press release.