Law enforcement stands vigil in the hot afternoon sun as naked woman huddles in boat off Cruz Bay Beach on Monday, March 20. The officers subsequently coaxed the woman to shore and provided her with appropriate cover while she put her clothes back on.
CRUZ BAY — A joint task force of V.I. Police Department and V.I. Port Authority law enforcement officers staked out Cruz Bay Beach on Monday afternoon, April 20, after a woman was reported to have taken off her clothes and swum out to a boat about 15-feet from shore in full view of ferry terminal passengers and shoppers in the beachfront Wharfside Village shortly before 3 p.m.
The woman, a visitor who reportedly had arrived on island alone the previous week and was suffering from some psychological problems related to a family crisis, hid in the shade of the bimini top on the open boat, poking her head up occasionally to watch the uniformed police on shore nearby trying to figure out how to get their quarry into custody while observing all possible proprieties in full public view.
The incident — and the woman — were kept under wraps by authorities. Authorities shielded the woman from public view as much as possible after she voluntarily came in from the boat and put her clothes back on before the 4 p.m. ferry arrived from St. Thomas. There was no report of an arrest or any medical treatment or referral for the woman.
The same woman had been reported displaying similar behavior since her arrival on island, including partially disrobing in the lady’s room of one downtown Cruz Bay fine dining establishment and casually walking out into public.
There were unconfirmed reports that the woman — again reportedly naked — had commandeered a kayak and paddled out of Cruz Bay over the weekend only to be “rescued” by someone in a passing vessel after the kayak overturned.
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter had appeared to be conducting a search and rescue operation between Chocolate Hole, Little St. James and St. Thomas beginning in the early morning hours of Monday, April 20. The “z-pattern” search began around 2 a.m. according to Contant Point residents and continued until late morning.
There was no report from the U.S.C.G. on a search and rescue operation on any search operation or whether it involved the same woman.
Incident on Live Cam
The incident was broadcast live on the internet by the web cam which covers that portion of the Cruz Bay Beach and the officers did not try to deter tourists and passersby from taking photographs of the law enforcement action as the woman hid on the open sportfishing boat.
Officers did threaten a St. John Tradewinds photographer with arrest and ordered him not to take pictures of them in their law enforcement action.