Casey Shulman. Photo from Twitter

Tragedy struck off the coast of Mero on Saturday when a visiting American student died after she was hit by a boat’s propeller, according to the police.

The person has been identified as 22-year-old Casey Shulman, a student of the University of Virginia (UVA) in the United States.

Acting police PRO, Inspector Richmond Valentine, said the accident occurred at about 2:30 pm on Saturday.

According to Inspector Valentine, Shulman was among a group of 54 students who arrived on the island at 7:00 am on a  ship which offers a semester of studying at sea.

At 9:00 am a group of students, including Shulman, took a boat owned by Anchorage Dive, captained by Andrew Armour, and went snorkeling off Soufriere.

After snorkeling the boat proceeded to Mero beach where some student stayed aboard, some went swimming and others went ashore to enjoy the beach.

The police said after picking up some food supplies, the boat was moving backwards when its propeller made contact with Shulman, who was in the water.

She sustained injuries all over her body and was transported to the Princess Margaret Hospital where she was pronounced dead by a doctor.

The body was moved to the morgue pending a post mortem.

Investigations into the matter continue, police say.

BELOW IS A STATEMENT RELEASED  BY PATRICIA LAMPKIN, VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF STUDENT OFFICER AT UVA, ON SATURDAY TO FACULTY AND STUDENTS:

To the University community:

I write today to inform you of the loss of one of our students. Casey Schulman, a fourth-year Foreign Affairs major from Falls Church, Va., was killed earlier today in a recreational boating incident in Roseau, Dominica.

I have been in touch with Casey’s family and ask that you join us in keeping the family and its friends in our thoughts during this difficult time.

Casey was a participant in the Semester at Sea program. The trip during which the incident occurred was organized independently of the SAS activities. Leadership at the Institute for Shipboard Education and senior voyage administrators have also been in contact with Casey’s family, the U.S. Embassy of the Eastern Caribbean and University leadership.

Grief counseling and support services have been made available to all members of the SAS community on a 24-hour basis. A commemorative service is planned aboard the ship tomorrow evening. The ship will depart Dominica tomorrow at 8 p.m. local time as planned and will return to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on Friday, Dec. 7.

For any members of the University community, support is available through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) this weekend at 434-972-7004 or by speaking directly with a dean on call by contacting the University Police at 434-924-7166. A dean is on call 24/7, should anyone need assistance.

Patricia Lampkin

Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer