April 27, 2007 – A 36-year-old man from Finland died Friday at Cinnamon Bay. Police identified the man as Ari Roeksae, who was visiting the territory aboard the cruise ship Crown Princess.
Mark Marschall, chief ranger at V.I. National Park, said at about 11 a.m. a kayaking couple spotted the man in the water about 50 yards off the west end of Cinnamon Bay Beach.
"They thought he was snorkeling," Marschall said.
He said when they looked again, they realized his snorkel tube was under water.
"They paddled over to the person and tapped him on the shoulder, but he was unresponsive," Marschall said.
He said the kayakers and a person who swam out from shore moved the man back to the beach, where they started CPR. Marschall said a doctor and a nurse were on the beach to assist, and that they used the automatic defibrillator kept at Cinnamon Bay.
Cinnamon Bay does not have lifeguard service.
Marschall said park rangers, St. John Rescue and St. John's Emergency Medical Service responded.
"They started more advanced care," Marschall said.
The ambulance transported Roeksae to Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center, where he was pronounced dead at 12:10 p.m. The cause of death has yet to be determined.
Marschall said this was the third similar situation this year. In one, a man in his 70s died in the water at Caneel Bay. "We believe it was a heart attack," he said.
In the second, a woman who worked for a St. John dive shop died while diving. That cause remains unknown.
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