Detectives brought the divemaster and dive instructor of Dive Safari to the Philipsburg police station for questioning following the death of an American tourist during their dive excursion, on Tuesday around 10:45am.
Police spokesman Chief Inspector Humphrey “Boyd” Giterson told The Daily Herald that the victim’s family had requested that an autopsy be done to conclusively determine the cause of death of Gregory William Johnson (43).
According to Giterson, police have conducted their investigation and so far there is “no evidence of negligence on the part of Dive Safari or foul play resulting in the victim’s death.”
Giterson called the incident “an unfortunate” one and said the fact that there had been other incidents of this type relating to the company Dive Safari, with the last one in December, in which a female American tourist drowned, did not suggest cause for concern.
He said that the victim in this case was a generously proportioned man who had recorded 45 dives in the past. However, there are cases in which the people who dive aren’t physically fit, which can result in accidents. He said the detectives would await the result of the autopsy.
Johnson, who arrived on the island early Tuesday on board the cruise ship Disney Magic, went on an excursion with his brother, who is reportedly a US Coast Guard officer.
The brother told police that he had been underwater with his brother, who indicated to him that he was going topside. The officer opted to stay below and surfaced a few minutes later, only to find people trying to resuscitate his brother, who by then had blood coming from his nose and was vomiting.
It is not clear whether the victim had heart complications or if his injury resulted from surfacing too quickly.
Giterson said he had been brought ashore to Bobby’s Marina where he was pronounced dead by Dr. Mercuur. A pathologist is expected to come from Cura