My brother, Jimmy Loveland, passed away in his sleep on February 4, 2022. He first came to the Virgin Islands in 1962 with Capt. Johnny Harms and Capt. Jerry Black to develop sport-fishing charters out of Caneel Bay Resort for Laurance Rockefeller. Harms, Black and Jimmy pioneered sport fishing in the Virgin Islands, studying the local charts and testing the fishing grounds. In 1966, he caught a 761-pound blue marlin, the fourth largest ever caught at that time. He later caught a 124-pound wahoo that established the 50-pound-test men’s world record at that time. Purchasing a 55-foot boat and naming that second boat Fish n’ Fool, he branched out into the tour business. Jimmy was the first operator to feature weekly tours to Treasure Island and the Baths in Virgin Gorda for the locals. He began running snorkel tours to Honeymoon Beach and land tours in St. John for the cruise-ship tourists, becoming a major tour operator for the cruise ships in the late ’60s and ’70s. Along with creating Loveland Travel in the mid-’70s, he opened Sibs on the Mountain restaurant and later Sibs by the Sea.
In 1974, he won the Boy Scout Tournament as Winthrop Rockefeller’s captain, then began operating this tournament in 1987, renaming it the US Virgin Islands Open/Atlantic Blue
Marlin Tournament. He continued running the tournament gratuitously for the sole benefit of raising money for the Boy Scouts of America for 30 years, until 2017. In my opinion, Jimmy was responsible for the most important “swivel must hit the rod tip” rule in the Boy Scout Tournament for a release to count. Jimmy was awarded the distinguished Boy Scout Silver Beaver Award in 2011. The Billfish Foundation recognized him with the Winthrop Rockefeller Lifetime Achievement Award, and during this time, he was instrumental in creating the Big Game Room for the Miami International Boat Show. When you arrive at the St. Thomas Airport, you will notice Larry Martin’s 1,142-pound all-tackle world-record blue marlin mount; Jimmy is responsible for this world record being displayed at that location. He also promoted the Marlin Festival for the Red Hook community every August, which encouraged tourists and locals alike to enjoy the local restaurants and dining establishments in Red Hook.
Retiring from tournaments, he solely created and developed the marine vocational program, a charitable entity that has nurtured numerous kids from the Boys and Girls Club of St. Thomas and the surrounding community, preparing them for future employment in the marine industry by teaching sailing, rope splicing, knots, rowing, snorkeling, swimming, fishing and diving. Jimmy was always proud of being a Virgin Islander, and it was always important for him to contribute to the future of these islands.