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Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

DonExodus
February 11, 2014 11:07AM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 301

Hello all,

Stumbled upon a bit of trivia and apparently his half brothers were killed in a SCUBA accident/possible shark attack. Anyone have any details of the accident (where it happened, was it a shark, etc)?

Thanks!

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

Alana33
February 11, 2014 11:20AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 12,112

The only deadly shark attack in the VI that I am aware of happened in Magens Bay in the early 60's (?) and the victim was not Grammer's 1/2 brother but a UDT diver who was frolicking with girlfriend in very early - pre daylight hours on the north side of the bay (around little Magens?). Magens Bay was completely closed off to swimming and the Bay baited. Numerous sharks were caught including the one that had the man's arm/wrist in it. It was killed and strung up in front of the fire station in town. At least that is my recollection as I was a child at the time.

I thought that Grammer's brother(s) got swept off the rocks during high grounds seas that frequently occur but may be confusing that incident with other incidents that have occurred so cannot say with any certainty.

Here's info I found on internet:

Allen Grammer, a local bar-and-grill owner, stayed on in St. Thomas while Sally, a homemaker who never adjusted to life on the islands, took Kelsey and Karen back first to her parents" home in New Jersey and then, in 1967, to Pompano Beach, Fla.

Just before midnight on April 25, 1968, Allen Grammer heard an intruder on the grounds of the lagoon-front home he shared with his second wife, Elizabeth (nicknamed Skeets), and their four children (Betty, John, Billy and Stephen). Allen went to investigate. Skeets, now 58, remembers the sound of a gunshot and her husband's voice shouting, "Call the police! I've been shot!" There was another shut, and Grammer, 38, lay dead. His assailant was a cab driver who was later tried and found not guilty by reason of insanity.

On June 1, 1980, the two were scuba diving off St. Thomas when Billy failed to surface. Stephen plunged in to find him but suffered a fatal embolism during an improper ascent. Billy's body was never recovered; his mother, Skeets, remains convinced he was eaten by sharks.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2014 11:30AM by Alana33.

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

islandjoan
February 11, 2014 11:55AM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 1,708

There was a diving shark attack off of Davis Bay St Croix in 1972.

Read the harrowing (and amazing) story:
[www.undercurrent.org]

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

Alana33
February 11, 2014 12:08PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 12,112

Horrendous! I was away at college during this time and had no idea STX had this incident.

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

JulieKay
February 11, 2014 01:39PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 1,341

Good Lord. I knew about this but it was the first time I read the story. That poor man.

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

DonExodus
February 11, 2014 08:39PM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 301

I've read the cane bay story before. That's just unreal...

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

sunshinefun
February 12, 2014 08:23AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 682

Wow...what a story!!! It is so common to see sharks while diving at Cane Bay that I'm almost disappointed when we don't see them. But that story was truly horrendous.

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

islandjoan
February 12, 2014 09:03AM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 1,708

Yeah it is a truly horrifying story, and also it is beyond amazing that Bret survived the ascent from such depths.

Hey sunshine, do you see a lot of white tips there? How big are the sharks you see? I'm glad to hear that there are still sharks out there. So many worldwide are being killed, it is so sad.

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

sunshinefun
February 13, 2014 07:58AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 682

I've never seen a white tip and most are pretty small really. They always seem rather curious yet cautious, much like me.

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

Jim D.
April 06, 2018 01:52PM

Registered: 8 months ago
Posts: 2

Alana33,

I was there. It was my boat that Billy & his brother took out to go spear fishing when the incident occurred. First off, Billy Stephen and I got in my 16 foot aluminum boat from the dock at the shop I & Joe Alvarez (Hollywood Joe) rented from their mother, Skeets Grammer. The three of us were going diving at a place called "Fisherman's Cut", on the East end of St. Thomas, (just off the Lagoon where Poor Man' Bar was located at the marina. We loaded up our dive gear and I had a 5 ft. spear gun with us. As we were backing the boat away from the dock early that Saturday morning, another friend of mine, Peter Richardson came running to the end of the dock calling me, as I had forgot I was going to help him paint his boat at the marina that day. So, I puled the boat back up to the dock and told Billy & his brother to go ahead & take the boat and spear fish for lobster and fish at Fisher Man's Cut, like we were going to do. I left all my gear in the boat, and they pulled away. Fisher Man's Cut had a small reef where we used to go for lobster and it was only a short distance from the shop.

That evening, Billy & his brother did not return back to the shop. Joe & I had just figured that they probably took the boat to St. John, met up with some girls, and would be back the next morning. We did not think much about it and were not worried at all. Early the next morning, Joe & I were sitting at Poor Man's Bar having some breakfast at about 7:00 AM. An acquaintance pulled up to the bar in his dinghy and said, "What is your boat doing anchored out at Fisher Man's Cut"? Immediately Joe & I knew that something was wrong. Larry Sorensen, the owner of Poor Man's Bar, offered to take us out there on his boat to see what was up. The sun was just coming up and was not very light out yet. As we were pulling up to the anchored boat, I looked in it and saw that all my dive gear was not there, including my spear-gun, but all of Billy's gear was the only gear in the boat. We looked around the boat a bit and did not see anything. The water was extremely clear. So, we decided to leave the boat there and go contact some "Officials", (Coast Guard, Marine Patrol, or anyone who would investigate this). So, Larry took us back to the marina. Joe went to make phone calls & I went over to the Marine Patrols office that was just across the lagoon from the bar. There was an officer there who then said let's go and show him the boat. He took me out and by now the sun had risen more and it was much brighter out. As we approached the anchored boat, I could clearly see the small Island about 100 yards out, and could see a body, face down, on the small Island's beach. At that point I told the Officer to take me back as I did not want to see my friends dead. He took me back and called in a search party and went out there. (I was freaked out).

The body was that of Billy's brother, who by the way was an Open Water Dive Instructor. He still had his tank & gear on, but I was told by the officer that he had vomited in his regulator, and drowned. The water that they were diving in was only about 12 to 20n feet deep, so there was no way this was attributed to "Rising too quickly". There was no sign of Billy, but they did find my scuba tank & BC/Backpack, on the bottom not too far from the boat. The BC had triangular shark teeth marks in it in an arch as if the large shark had come from his right side and bitten from back to chest, even "Crimping" the steel scuba tank. Later on that day as they were searching they found my mask & snorkel on the bottom near by. They also found my two flippers a longer distance away, up on another beach, whereas both had triangular shark teeth marks in them. My spear gun, that would sink to the bottom if you let go of it, was no where to be found in the clear shallow waters.

At the marine patrol office, they brought in the gear they found and told us we could take the boat back to our dock. One of the local Island guys offered to set barrel traps for sharks that evening, out where the attack occurred. He used large pieces of meat on large hooks with anchored barrels attached. The next morning he brought in two, Over 9 Ft. Tiger sharks to the marine patrol's dock. I was there, Joe was there, Skeets Grammer was there, several friends were there and the Island's Coroner was there. As they pulled the larger of the two sharks from the water, Tail First, I saw what looked like some ribs & a collar bone fall from the dead sharks mouth. The coroner who was about 20 feet away, said, "Dem is goat bones. Wash them over". Within seconds someone with a bucket of water dumped the bucket & washed them into the water. No samples were taken at all. I then went & got my scuba tank attached to the BC & Backpack harness that was just inside the marine patrol's garage by the dock and put it into the 10 ft. tiger sharks mouth, where the teeth lined up exactly to the holes & crimped tank. This was definitely a Shark Attack. However the USVI government did not want any bad publicity about a Shark Attack to ruin any tourism. Skeets had to wait 7 years to collect anything for Billy, as he was just listed as missing as they never found any part of him. His brother Stephen, was later buried at the local St. Thomas cemetery in town. This was published as a "Boating Accident", not the actual shark attack that killed by friend Billy & his brother. I believe that Billy somehow shot a shark with my spear gun, probably some sharks came around when they were diving. This shark must have left & took the spear gun with him. Other sharks probably began attacking Billy & his brother was watching, got sick to his stomach, vomited repeatedly in his regulator and drowned. Stephen, and most divers know this, when vomiting while diving, remover the regulator, vomit, and then return the regulator to get air. I have done this dozens of times when diving as sometimes the pressure causes this. Certainly Stephen, being an open water dive instructor knew this. It must have been horribly tragic to see your brother being attacked by a shark, or sharks.

This is the One & Only True Story on what happened that day. Had my friend Peter Richardson showed up a minute later at my dock, I would have been with them as well. Fate.

Jim Dolloff
jim.dolloff@ditekcorp.com

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

islandjoan
April 06, 2018 02:08PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 1,708

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

vicanuck
April 06, 2018 02:58PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,285

It could be a movie.

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

speee1dy
April 06, 2018 04:06PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 8,657

horrible

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

SkysTheLimit
April 06, 2018 04:59PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 1,910

Jim D
Thanks for sharing! Any relation to Joseph Dolloff?

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

Alana33
April 06, 2018 05:51PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 12,112

Fisherman's cut was where they used to bait barrels to catch sharks on a regular basis back then I believe and also further out off point of Happy Island. Lots of sharks.
This is the first time I've heard that story but I knew Larry and Joe back then. I was doing a lot of sailing back then but surprised hearing about this.

Sorry for your loss!

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

AandA2VI
April 06, 2018 11:40PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 2,295

One should always knows the risk when entering the ocean. Especially spearfishing in shark infested waters. I dive with sharks on the regular but other than lion fish we don’t hunt around them. They’re faster and a lot more agile than us. I’ve been touching distance to many but they’re cool calm and collected especially our little Caribbean reefs. The ocean is beautiful and unforgiving. I do hate that sharks were killed for no reason. We are part of the food chain, like it or not. I’ve only had one nervous time around a shark and was on a tour stopped at Henley - I didn’t see the entire body but I saw the dorsal - for sure a massive tiger and dorsal was close to 3ft... or at least it looked it! She was swimming behind the reef and I had tourists which I quickly herded into shallow water and told to stay still while I peeked around the reef to see her, she was gone. I’ve seen a 15 foot great white and I think she must have been bigger than that, based on that fin.

Looking forward to lots of epic sharks soon! EGYPT. Can’t wait to see oceanic white tips and scores of hammerheads. Sharks are the most amazing creatures.

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

Jim D.
August 16, 2018 04:18PM

Registered: 8 months ago
Posts: 2

He is my younger Brother.

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

singlefin
August 17, 2018 02:56PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 774

I told myself that once I got here full-time, I would get scuba certified and give it a go. It is, as you all know, one of the things the USVI is known for, and I can’t imagine a place with better water clarity.
I’ve been an avid surfer for decades (hence the name Singlefin) and being above water, riding waves handcrafted by Mother Nature, still has me enthralled.
I did read the STX shark account scuba story many years ago and now after reading this one from STT, I’m even more freaked out. I’m not sure why, but for some reason I feel sitting on top of the water is safer, even on a partially submerged surfboard.
Someday I’ll give scuba a shot I’m sure, but after reading these accounts I think I may have just moved it to the back burner again... you know, like somewhere back behind golf and hang gliding ;-)

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

TN_Travelers
August 17, 2018 04:08PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 73

More surfers are attacked by sharks every year than Scuba Divers!!! big grin

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

ironheadUSVI
August 17, 2018 04:17PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 260

Quote
singlefin
I told myself that once I got here full-time, I would get scuba certified and give it a go. It is, as you all know, one of the things the USVI is known for, and I can’t imagine a place with better water clarity.
I’ve been an avid surfer for decades (hence the name Singlefin) and being above water, riding waves handcrafted by Mother Nature, still has me enthralled.
I did read the STX shark account scuba story many years ago and now after reading this one from STT, I’m even more freaked out. I’m not sure why, but for some reason I feel sitting on top of the water is safer, even on a partially submerged surfboard.
Someday I’ll give scuba a shot I’m sure, but after reading these accounts I think I may have just moved it to the back burner again... you know, like somewhere back behind golf and hang gliding ;-)

In 12 years of diving I never saw a shark while I was in the water.

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

Alana33
August 17, 2018 04:56PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 12,112

I have my Dive Masters certification and have spent many years in VI, BVI and many other places both diving for pleasure and work.
Did I see sharks? Yes.
Did they bother me? No.
Consider ALL the people that swim, surf, snorkel, dive and are in are waters, daily, 365.
Your chances of being attacked by a shark are slim to none.
Get certified and enjoy the beauty below our waters.

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

Scubadoo
August 17, 2018 10:05PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 2,142

You are more likely to get bitten by a shark on the surface where they can't tell what you are than underwater where they can see you aren't dinner. We see Caribbean reef sharks while diving the STX wall all the time, on most dives. Sometimes they go the opposite direction. Sometimes are curious and swim by. They aren't interested in chasing divers.

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

RevFD
August 18, 2018 01:30PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 94

Plenty of sharks around STX. We spearfish every other weekend but they rarely bother us. Lost more fish to nurse sharks than reef sharks both here and in FL. Have yet to see a Tiger in the water here, though others have seen them.

My dive buddy whose a long-time resident recently told me a story of a woman that supposedly got bitten by a shark at Buck Island, sitting on a boat, feet dangling in water, opening a can of tuna or handling some kind of food. This may go back many years. Anyone heard about this one?

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

dougtamjj
August 18, 2018 02:08PM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 2,585

I think she was bitten by a barracuda.

Re: Kelsey Grammer's brothers / SCUBA accident

Moinstx
August 19, 2018 01:39AM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 22

I recall they weren't sure what it was but thought a barracuda. Never heard the food/tuna fish part, just that her foot was in the water.

Some kind of fish bit the tip of my pinkie toe in shallow water at Sandy Point. I had red nail polish on so maybe it looked like bait.

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