The family of a teenager whose body was pulled from the water at Pebbles Beach this morning in apparent drowning, said they were stunned at the young man’s death, and they would have a tough time coping.
One close relative reported he got a “splitting headache” when he was told last night that 19-year-old Trae Ki-Anderson St Hill had not come home, and it intensified when it became clear this morning that the young man had died.
The groom, affectionately known by his colleagues as Horse Lover, of Gibbons Terrace, Christ Church, was reported missing by his family at around 11 o’clock last night.
After regular beachgoer Norman Jones pulled his body from the water, grieving family members quickly gathered at the scene, clearly shocked by the news. Tears flowed freely as they sought to come to grips with the tragedy, while trying to console each other.
Cousin Reginald St Hill, who, along with Trae’s mother Karen Bourne officially identified the body, said the news had sent shockwaves throughout the family.
He told Barbados TODAY that relatives had feared the worst, but had been praying for the best when the young man failed to return home last night.
“It is very hard for us right now. From the time my cousin called me this morning and tell me that Trae did not come home last night, I just get a splitting headache; and then her husband called me back and tell me that a body is floating in the water down by Radisson [Hotel] and it may be Trae.
“When I got here I saw it was Trae,” he said, while struggling to hold back the tears.
Trae’s aunt, who preferred not be identified, described her nephew as “a nice well-mannered young man, who was loved by his family and all he came into contact with”.
Jones was on his regular visit to the beach early this morning when he first noticed the body clad in swim trunks on the surface of the water.
Convinced that it was someone who was simply “floating about”, Jones did not immediately raise an alarm, and continued on his way.
However, having noticed the body still floating when he returned, he rang lawmen for permission to pull the body from the sea, he told Barbados TODAY.
“At about 5:30 a.m. I saw this person out there in the water and somebody say, ‘somebody out there drowning’, and I say, ‘man they can’t be drowning, they must be just out there floating about’. I went down to Browne’s Beach and come back and I see the person still floating then I say, ‘nah that person got to be drowning for true’, but they wasn’t struggling or anything.
“So I called the police and coast guard and say, ‘a man out here dead but I can’t bring he in unless I get permission to bring him’ and they gave me permission. So I bring him in and when I checked the pulse there wasn’t no pulse or nothing, so it ain’t make no sense trying to resuscitate or nothing,” Jones said.
Trae was groom to the horse Voldemort, the chestnut gelding which stormed the field to easily win the prestigious 2014 Massy United Insurance Barbados Derby by about two lengths.
Several of his colleagues expressed shock at the death of the young man, as they all knew him to be a strong swimmer.
“It really got me surprised because I know that he could swim really well, but I guess when the tide rough even the best swimmers could find it difficult,” said one workmate, who opted not to be identified.
Lawmen said foul play was not suspected, as they awaited the results of an autopsy to guide their investigations into the matter.