The last time former Barbadian cricketer Shirley Clarke spoke with his son Kyle Mayers, there was reason to worry about his son’s safety.
It was in the early hours of Tuesday morning and Hurricane Maria was battering Dominica, to where Kyle had travelled last week to join the Windward Island cricket team for a training session ahead of the West Indies Professional Cricket League scheduled to begin at the end of the month.
The professional cricketer had told his dad he was “a little bit scared” because the winds were strengthening and the conditions were deteriorating.
Not having heard from the 25-year-old since, Clarke told Barbados TODAY he was desperate to hear from his son.
“The same day of the hurricane is the last time I heard him. He was okay at the time and he was getting a few things to prepare for it. The last time I heard him was minutes to two in the morning of the hurricane and after that everything just got shut off. He said he thought the roof was off. He was downstairs the apartment. He told me he was a little bit scared and just wanted everything to be over,” the worried father said.
“It’s a very uneasy feeling and I can’t wait to hear him. All now my head hurting me thinking about him. We are trying our best to reach him anyway possible and to get him home,” he added.
Kyle’s apartment was located on Federation Drive in Goodwill, a short walk from the capital, Roseau.
It was not immediately clear how much damage the area suffered, but there had been reports of flooding and torn roofs from as early as 9 p.m. on Monday.
Kyle’s mother Cathyann Mayers, whose last contact with her son was around 10 p.m. on Monday, said she has given his address to officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here, in the hope that they would locate him and get him home safely.
“I’m trying not to worry too much, but yes, I am worried. But I don’t want to overthink. We would have sent off a package to him through his friend in BDF [Barbados Defence Force] but I’m not really worried about the package, I want them to find my child. He’s my concern. The package is second to that,” the concerned mother told Barbados TODAY in a telephone interview.
“A lot of people are looking for Kyle. I would hope that he comes straight home after going through that category five hurricane. The competition doesn’t even start until the end of the month. I would just like him to come home to be back with his family and his daughter, N’Kyah, who is four years old, so that things would go back to normal.”
Like Kyle’s parents, his girlfriend Sharece Thornhill is worried. And despite the fact that she said she felt all would be well, Thornhill told Barbados TODAY she would travel to Dominica if she could in search of her boyfriend.
“I am trying to keep calm and I have faith that he’s okay. The area he is in is in town so I don’t feel like it’s that bad, but I’m just trying. Being that I know where he is exactly, if the house is damaged and he’s gone by other teammates, I know where they live. I don’t know if it would be possible to go and help find him,” she said.
Thornhill last spoke to Kyle in the early hours of Tuesday morning, when he updated her on the situation and asked her to try to find out when the worst of the storm was due to be over.
Thornhill said her response shortly thereafter never even reached Kyle.
“When he called he told me the house flood out and asked me if I would be able to find out when the hurricane would pass. I told him give me two minutes and then I sent the message and it didn’t go through.
“I just need him to get back home, that’s the truth. This is madness,” she said while holding back tears.
Meantime, Kyle’s best friend Kevin Earle said when they last spoke on Monday night, he tried to reassure Kyle that everything would be fine, and gave him advice on what to do following the cyclone.
“At the time, he asked me when the hurricane would pass because it felt like it was taking forever. Most importantly, I managed to get him to send me his location so that when communications went as expected we would know exactly where his apartment was,” Earle said.
Currently, they are counting on a mutual friend at the BDF, who left Barbados this evening for Dominica on the Coast Guard vessel, to local Kyle and ease their worries.
He is the one with the package and is due to arrive in Dominica tomorrow.