WOW - I have taught sailing for the last 5 years for both ASA and US/Sailing. During that time I have NEVER ordered anyone into the water, and while I have run aground it has always been (semi-)intentional. When I run aground, I teach how to get refloated without damaging the vessel. I have only taken the free NauticEd classes (out of professional curiosity), but Grant at NauticEd keeps pestering me via email to enroll so that I can get my NauticEd certification. As a former education professional/corporate trainer, I feel that there are many things that online learning and simulation cannot do, and teaching sailing is one of them. I have done a few deliveries too, but I have nothing dramatic to report about them.
I have not sailed in the VI, so I've been looking at a chart of the area. If you left from Trunk Bay moorings and ran aground minutes later, you must have hit Johnson Reef which is marked by: Y C "JA", Y "JB" FL Y 6s, Y C "JC", Y "JD" FL Y 2.5s, Y C "JE", and G "1JR" FL G 4s. All of these ATONs are within a half of a mile of each other, so that's a good indication that there is something
to look out for in that location.
Was there a chart of the area aboard? Had anyone looked at it?
Either way, this sounds like a case of gross negligence.
On the plus side, the NauticEd website ( at Sailing Schools in the USA
) states that they have a NEW Lagoon 450F! So maybe they will trade vessels to make this situation go away.