A young woman from Falls Church was killed when she was hit by a boat propeller while snorkeling in the Caribbean. Casey Schulman was there as part of the Semester at Sea program. News4's Darcy Spencer reports.
A college student from Virginia died during a visit to the Caribbean island of Dominica after she was struck by a dive boat's propeller.
The University of Virginia student was identified as 22-year-old Casey Schulman of Falls Church.
Authorities said she was killed Saturday afternoon as she and more than 50 other students visited the island as part of a "Semester at Sea'' program.
Police spokesman Richmond Valentine said Sunday that Schulman and fellow students went snorkeling on a boat owned by a local company, Anchorage Dive. After the excursion, the boat went to the island community of Mero, where some students went for a swim while others relaxed on the beach. Valentine said the captain was apparently reversing the boat after picking up food when its propeller hit Schulman, who was swimming.
She was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Patricia Lumpkin, the university's chief student affairs officer, said she's been in touch with Schulman's family. Lumpkin also said grief counseling and support services are available to members of the university community.
Les McCabe, the president of the Institute for Shipboard Education, Semester at Sea's parent organization, issued a statement saying in part, "We wish to convey our condolences to Casey’s family, her many friends, and those who witnessed the accident." McCabe's statement identified Schulman as a fourth-year student at the school and noted that the snorkeling excursion had been organized independently by the students and was not sponsored by Semester at Sea.
Schulman was a foreign affairs student and member of the Alpha Phi sorority, according to Semester at Sea. She graduated from JEB Stuart High School in 2009.
The Semester at Sea students left Dominica aboard the MV Explorer Sunday night as planned to return to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Friday.