The Bubbly Pool on Jost Van Dyke
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour and the Conservation and Fisheries Department have informed the general public that as of today, March 16, 2013, the "Bubbly Pool" at Jost Van Dyke will be reopened, due to reduced groundswells and surge.
This announcement came after the agencies had issued a bulletin on March 13 advising that the Bubbly Pool was closed to the general public as the water was at the time deemed unsafe due to high surge or groundswells in the area.
However, yesterday afternoon the agencies stated that persons are advised not to walk on the rocks in the pool. The public is reminded that they assume any and all risk involved when choosing to bathe at all public beaches.
"The public is also being reminded to avoid or exercise extreme caution at all Virgin Islands´ beaches during high surge or groundswells, "groundseas" and to take note of the flag warning system."
The warning on March 13 came days following a mishap that led to the death of Jonathan Wheeler, 34, of Texas, USA when he and another man tried to rescue their friend who was swept into the 'pool' by high waves last Saturday, March 9.
On Saturday, BVI Platinum News reported that a Wheeler had died and another male tourist had sustained severe injuries trying to rescue another male visitor. He has since been stabilized.
Phil Aspinal of the Virgin Islands Search And Rescue (VISAR) informed BVI Platinum News that the agency received a distress call about 1:00 p.m. on March, 9.
According to information, three men were on a day's charter from St. Thomas visiting the Bubbly Pool.
Reports indicate that the men were not directly in the water, but were by the rocks when a wave washed one of the men into the sea.
Information states that the other two men, which included Wheeler, jumped into the water to rescue him. The man who was washed into the sea is said to have escaped injury, but was emotionally distressed.
Last September, the BVI Tourist Board announced that safety signage and public rescue equipment are now in place to provide added safety at the Bubbly Pool.
The move came several months after a female tourist died following a swimming mishap.
According to the Board, the erection of the signage is part of an ongoing initiative to secure the safety of visitors and locals throughout the Territory. The Board worked in collaboration with the Conservation and Fisheries Department to improve safety at the Jost Van Dyke location.
The new signage and rescue equipment installed at the Bubbly Pool.
Photo Credit: provided
The Bubbly Pool is one of the many natural attractions in the Territory that offers a delightful treat to visitors as they experience what some might consider an invigorating natural Jacuzzi.
After hiking an easily navigated path to the Bubbly Pool, visitors are able to review the sign and ascertain the appropriate safety measures that should be taken before and during swimming.
The sign is positioned on the left of the trail entrance so that it can easily be seen by persons travelling to the beach. It provides guests with information on possible safety hazards and it is equipped with a life ring and 25 metres of floating rope.
On March 9, 2012, 35 year-old female American tourist, Elissa Bradley, reportedly drowned while swimming at the Bubbly Pool. The deceased woman was part of a party of six on a charter.