St. Thomas: Months After Shooting, Is It Safe to Go Back to Coki Beach?

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#2
Saint John, New Brunswick
5,287 Posts
Joined May 2005
Its a shame really. We've been to Coki twice. The first time the weather could not have been better. We had a great time. I don't think I'll go back just yet though. I think when we're there in March '10, we'll head out to Magens Bay for the day.
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#3
South Carolina
968 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
I guess if you ask the right question, you might get the right answer- or at least a relevant answer.

They asked what had been done to "clean up" Coki. They were told what had been done to "clean up" Coki. I think what people actually wanted to know is what had been done to decrease the crime in and around Coki. Those answers were conspicuously missing from all comments.

I think here in the U.S. when we talk about "cleaning up" an area- people know that the general reference is to cleaning up the criminal element and moving them out. Maybe St. Thomas is a USVI but the culture is still very different.

Ask me no questions, I will tell you no lies. Typical political stuff- hedging and giving irrelevant answers to the question everyone was really asking.
#4
Southern California
35,938 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
It is too early to tell. I'll be more interested in what it is like in August 2011 then in October 2010.
#5
Dayton, Ohio
20 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
We've been to Coki Beach several times; it used to be a favorite of ours for snorkeling, jet skiing, and enjoying a beautiful beach day, but after our last couple visits we've been hesitant to return. In February 2009, we were told by waitresses, that the "mailman" (longtime food vendor on the beach) had been hospitalized after being shot on the beach. Then a waiter showed us his scars from being shot on the beach. Then while laying on the beach, we witnessed first a drug deal, then later in the day, we watched the police move in with assault guns (only about 20 ft. behind us!) to make arrest some islanders.

We will be finding another favorite beach. We are not looking to return to Coki Beach anytime soon, nor St. Thomas for that matter. The lure for us was Coki Beach. Such a shame that it's been overrun this way.
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#6
Mass
11 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
We went to Coki Beach back in summer of 2006. Although the water itself was lovely, the surrounding areas were not. We had been dropped off and were being picked up for our return to the ship. The roads leading to the beach were scary. We felt very uncomfortable with the seedy element, the bathrooms were disgustingly dirty. Little in the way of food I would choose to eat.
All the cruises we have taken since, we avoid booking any to St Thomas.
#7
8 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Next time I'm in St. Thomas, we will be heading to St. John. We enjoyed Magen's Bay while in St. Thomas 2 years ago, but on that same cruise, avoided Antigua by booking an all day boating excursion. That was shortly after 3 cruise ship passengers were held at gunpoint. I think Carnival quit going there due to all the crime. Don't know if they've been back yet.
#8
Southern California
35,938 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by cruiserfrommi
Next time I'm in St. Thomas, we will be heading to St. John. We enjoyed Magen's Bay while in St. Thomas 2 years ago, but on that same cruise, avoided Antigua by booking an all day boating excursion. That was shortly after 3 cruise ship passengers were held at gunpoint. I think Carnival quit going there due to all the crime. Don't know if they've been back yet.
Carnival never quit going to Antigua. Carnival did change the itinerary of one ship that had been going to Antigua, and after the itinerary change it did not. However, there was another Carnival ship that continued to go to Antigua.
#9
Yorkshire, UK
6,138 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Well, as we are getting married in 8 weeks on a beach in St Thomas - our answer is - yes we will definitely be going

Crime and tragedy happens all over the world
#10
Newburgh N.Y.
7,826 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
What a shame! We luved Coki and the whole island when we were there!
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#11
Charlotte
3,550 Posts
Joined May 2007
We hear of shootouts and widespread crime going on in many of our US cities all the time; We may avoid certain areas that does not stop us from visiting those cities altogether.
Seems the same principle applies here.
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#12
North Vancouver, BC
58 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Constant gang activity and 'targeted' hits, people living on the sidewalks, and agressive panhandlers, squeegee kids, and beggars everywhere! And the grafitti! Get me out of Vancouver and down to Coki Beach. Bonus points if they speak English down there!
#13
Omaha, Nebraska, no palm trees here....
409 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
I live close to the "ghetto" in a large city. Would I avoid this beach due to a shooting? Heck no!
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#14
33 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Wow...I hadn't heard this tragic story.
When we stopped in St Thomas last year we decided to take a tour of the island which included stopping at one of the 3 popular beaches (Megans Bay, Coki, or Sapphire) we have been to Megans Bay many times, so wanted to try something different this time. The driver took us to Coki beach and I was not impressed to say the least. The road leading in was dirty and there were many shady looking people just hanging out on both sides of the roadway. I told my husband I didn't want to get out there, so we went to Sapphire beach instead... which was gorgeous and very clean. We have 2 young daughters and my gut just told me we shouldn't stop there, I think it's important to listen to that "intuition".
We are sailing again in a few weeks, I'm glad we're doing a different itinerary, as I wouldn't feel safe going back to St Thomas after hearing this. I realize crime happens everywhere, but I'm certainly not going to put my family at risk in a place known to have this recent history.
#15
Jupiter, FL
80 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Traveling to St. Thomas in Dec. but we opted to take an excursion to St. John and so are many other people I blog with who are taking the same cruise, all staying away from Coki Beach, also notice on the weekends at Megans Bay, did not feel as safe as during the week.

Originally posted by LauraS
Cruise Critic has just posted the following news:

St. Thomas: Months After Shooting, Is It Safe to Go Back to Coki Beach?

Read the entire news article...
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#16
Fishers Indiana
143 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Its sad to hear a story like this as I have been to St Thomas many times in the past, both on cruises and a land vacation. I had made more than a few trips to Megan's Bay and was tired of the crowds. We tried Coki Beach as an alternative and the aquarium/beach combo was nice so I am disappointed to hear about the problems this area is experiencing. I always heard Sapphire Beach was nice, Trunk Bay was great, and now am reading about Water Island. Its too bad as this area depends on tourist business to thrive and I hope they find a way to clean it up. Now I always felt safe there but was warned not to go into certain areas at night alone. When we were there for a few days our resort had its own beach so we hung out there as it was a very expensive cab ride to go anywhere at night. I expect this area will continue to struggle but I would not skip St Thomas on a cruise although I do no have a family so that's just me. This is a beautiful island and feels like another US state and is a wonderful island for a wedding and honeymoon. I would say avoid the trouble spots and you should be just fine.
#17
Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada
159 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
The government rep who responded mentions cleaning up the area of old cars, and cleaning the washrooms, etc. This will not deal with the real problem.
The real issue here is that the drug dealers are ruthless and they have found this beach, which is often visited by wealthy tourists, to be a great place to sell their wares. The various drug gangs are vying for their part of the business, and when that happens there will be deaths. When things in the drug trade are disturbed that is when lots of shootings and deaths occur.
There will need to be a long and determined effort on the part of the St. Thomas police to turn things around, and during that period the gangs will be fighting the police as well as each other. Until things settle down I would not go to Coki Beach.
As other posters have mentioned, there are other beautiful beaches on St. T. Take a taxi with just a few friends and family to a less frequented beach, and enjoy a peaceful safe environment. Where there are few people to sell to, the drug dealers don't bother going.
#18
6 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
I remember reading a similar article here with the same title about 4-5 months ago. There is no indication how old the quotes are from government officials or cruise passengers ie. "Was there two days ago". Is this old news? Has the situation improved/gotten worse since the original Cruise Critic article on this subject? Hard to verify quality of information when dates are omitted.
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#19
southwestern Utah
22 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
My sister and I have been to St. Thomas many times. We love exploring all the many, many wonderful beaches on that island. There are so many to choose from, skipping Coki for awhile is not a bad idea. One time when we were at Coki beach and enjoying snorkeling, we went to the restroom to find NO toilet paper at all !!! We decided then that to make our fortune we should buy a roll of toilet paper and stand outside the restrooms selling sheets for a dime apiece. Really inexcusable to find that condition in a public restroom. But I hope things turn around soon. I'm going back, this time on a cruise, in Dec. and probably will just go to the closest beach to the dock.
#20
Utah
1 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
We were in St. Thomas a year ago and while on scooters a young man came walking in to our line of traffic where there was an altercation with a man and his wife where a lad, about 14 years of age, tried to hit the driver of the scooter, he missed but the passenger was hit and she retaliated with a punch to the boys face. He went down hard and came up fighting. He began throwing rocks as the couple kept going never stopping as to give the lad a chance for a better hit. There were about 18 of us on 12 scooters. He tried to take down a female lone rider which she sped around him and caused another couple to stop, as nearly hitting him. They swerved missing him. when the last couple tried to avoid but alas, had to show the lad they weren't taking his crapp. I think we'll probably go back as the young woman who punched him said, "u can't be afraid of a lowlife as he was, just kick him to the curb. she's my hero!