Early this afternoon, Allison Denny told Barbados TODAY she was praying that her son Shaquille Oneal Denny, who went missing at sea yesterday afternoon, was still alive, waiting to be rescued.
Less than four hours later, her deepest fear was realised when the body of the 18-year-old was brought to shore at Foul Bay, St Philip by members of the Barbados Coast Guard.
Family and friends converged at the scene around 4:20 p.m., but the mother was noticeably absent – the loss of her only son too much for her to bear.
The day started with Coast Guard and police resuming their search for the youth, who went missing after diving off a cliff at the Crane beach in St Philip. He was among three young men who were diving in the area, but he was the only one who did not resurface.
Speaking earlier today at her Rollins Road, Silver Sands, Christ Church home, the grieving mother said she was “hoping that a miracle could happen because I don’t believe that my son drowned”.
“I am hoping that he is still alive out there holding on to something just waiting for help. I still don’t think that my son dead. I think my son is alive out there somewhere. I am not giving up because I know the Lord is a great and loving God,” the soft-spoken mother said.
“I am really hoping for a miracle because I am a strong person and I have faith because I know the Lord loves me and I know that he would never do that to me. I know my son is somewhere out there holding on.”
Denny last saw her son asleep in his bedroom when she was getting ready to leave home for work. A few hours later, she said, he called her requesting money and informed her that he was going to visit a friend in Dover.
She received another call a bit later. This time, it was not from Shaquille, but an individual who notified her that three boys went to the beach and there was the possibility that one had drowned.
“I didn’t go, but my cousins went. They said that he was jumping off the cliff and like them went three times and like the third time that he jump off the tide started coming in the same time and the water drift him out.
“They said he was hollering for help and the boys he was with was going to help he but somebody told them not to go because the water was too dangerous so don’t take the chance and go.
“But I know them boys would have gone and help he because those are his best friend and his cousin and I know they would have gone and helped him. If it was just the three of them alone they would have gone,” she said.
The mother described Shaquille, a Guyanese by birth, as an obedient child.
She said words could not describe what a sweet and loving person Shaquille was, as could be attested to by those who knew him.
“He is very sweet and anybody could tell you that my son was a really sweet child. He never do anybody nothing, he is just really sweet.”
She recalled that Shaquile was committed to following the Jehovah Witness teachings and had ambitious plans of becoming a real estate agent.
“He was thinking high because he said when he reach 27 he has to achieve a lot of things,” the mother of three said.
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