The former spouse of Andrew King, the man who was reported missing in the early hours of Sunday morning at the end of a pleasure cruise, says she is at a total loss over how to cope with his disappearance.
What has made King’s disappearance even more difficult for Sophia Brathwaite is the impact it is having on their 13-year-old son, Alex, a student of Princess Margaret Secondary School.
“My son is in shock saying everyday he can’t believe it. He wants to know why he don’t have a father and he is asking me questions as a mother that I can’t even answer. I can’t feel good about this. My son keep getting up in the wee hours of the morning and crying for his dad,” Brathwaite told Barbados TODAY in an interview outside of King’s home.
“This is a couple days that he hasn’t eaten or went outside to play. He is very withdrawn and I’m trying to get some counselling [for him], and having not a body is very hard, and that is taking a toll on him. He doesn’t talk much and is keeping it inside and I don’t want this to interfere with his learning. I don’t even know what to do. I’m lost,” she added.
King, 49, is believed to have boarded the Jolly Roger on Saturday night for an 11p.m. cruise, but was unaccounted for when the boat returned to its dock just outside Carlisle House, The City early on Sunday morning.
Searches by the Coast Guard and the Marine Unit of the Royal Barbados Police Force have proved futile thus far, and his disappearance remains a mystery.
Brathwaite told Barbados TODAY while she and King were no longer a couple, they had maintained a friendly relationship. Therefore, she said, his mysterious disappearance was taking a toll on her.
“He being missing, there are not any words to describe it. I’m mourning and crying, not only because of the type of relationship we had. Although we weren’t together, we were friends for a very long time,” she said.
“He left home good and in high spirits. He don’t go on cruises – he would hardly go – so I was a little sceptical of him going. Having to deal with this for the past couple of days has been the hardest thing of my life and for my son.
“Father’s Day I got up and I was on rocks with the Coast Guard looking for a body because I could not face my son that morning,” the mournful mum cried.
Jolly Roger owner Allan Kinch said yesterday he was at a loss to explain what happened to King, particularly because of the level of security on board the vessel.
Kinch told Barbados TODAY the boat was safe, and there was no altercation during the cruise, nor had anyone reported seeing King jump or fall off.
“We have added additional ropes around the deck and above the sides and we have lights shining out into the sea as well all around the boat,” Kinch explained.
However, Brathwaite refused to buy Kinch’s explanation, telling Barbados TODAY she was certain the operators of the vessel were negligent in her ex’s disappearance.
“They putting more rope because the patrons are cattle, sheep, goats and cows. You put rope around animals. They also say they will put added security now. It means they didn’t have it in the first place. It is negligence on their part. The fact that he was able to go overboard means nobody was looking. It was too easy for he to go over. It was negligence.
“The people who go on the Jolly Roger pay their money to enjoy themselves and to feel safe. They are now putting measures in place now that someone has lost his life,” she complained.
In fact, the grieving Brathwaite said she was certain King had fallen off the boat, and to her consternation, she said, no one found out until the cruise had ended.
“The thing that hurting as well is that Andrew fell off the boat and then when the boat docked nobody knew anything. It could have been anyone. This has to send a message to all the cruise that are coming up,” she added.
Equally saddened by King’s disappearance was boyhood friend Jeffrey Lee, who simply told Barbados TODAY: “I don’t believe Andrew fall off, he won’t kill himself. This has really hurt me to lose my friend like this.”
Meantime, when told today about Brathwaite’s charge that the Jolly Roger was negligent, Kinch expressed his sympathy to the family, and restated that additional security measures would be put in place.