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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, December 8, 2022


Robert Johnson, 69, of Water Island suffered multiple injuries Friday morning when his Blackfin boat crashed into a nylon line extended from the stern of the Danish naval vessel, Van Speijk, in Gregerie Channel near the Crown Bay dock.
The impact of the vessel’s bimini top with the line caused the boat’s center control console to rip out, the steering wheel to break apart and Johnson to lose control of the vessel, which continued running in a northerly direction until it slammed into the bulkhead of the homeport dock at Crown Bay.
Johnson's wife did not appear to suffer any injuries. Johnson, however, was thrown onto the deck of his boat by the force of the impact. He suffered lacerations to the head, arms, chest and legs. He is said to suffer from heart disease.
Crew members from the mega-yacht "Thunder Gulch" came to Johnson's rescue. He was stabilized and taken by ambulance to the Roy L. Schneider Hospital.
A U.S. Coast Guard and Planning and Natural Resources investigation is under way to determine whether operator error caused the accident.
The Coast Guard did ask the Dutch naval vessel to place a warning device on the line that extends outward from the ship to the breasting dolphin.
There was talk at the scene that marine navigational rules and regulations do not recommend running a vessel between fixed objects such as the breasting dolphin and the Crown Bay dock.
The damaged craft was towed into the Crown Bay Marina where it will be secured until the investigation has been completed and the owner is able to retrieve it.

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