Devastated relatives of a young man who was the second person in a week to drown at the Pierhead Beach, Bay Street, St Michael, is appealing to authorities to label that beach a danger zone.
Twenty-one-year-old Leondre Francis of Suriname Road, Horse Hill, St Joseph, drowned around 4 p.m. on Thursday.
Last Wednesday, Christina Reid, a 13-year-old Springer Memorial student, also drowned at that same beach after getting into difficulties.
When Barbados TODAY visited Francis’ home, his step father Desmond Jordan said the family was reeling in pain at the sudden loss.
However, Jordan said in his opinion, two drownings in one week was enough evidence that red flags should be flying at that beach to warn people that they should not go into the water.
“I believe something has to be done about that beach. They should have that part cordoned off. Two people in one week, doesn’t look good.
“The public should stay away from that part because you don’t know who else this is going to happen to. I wouldn’t like another family to have to go through this. I don’t like how this is happening,” Jordan said.
Francis was in the company of a friend when he got into difficulty. Lifeguards performed CPR on him and he was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulance.
The former St Leonard’s Boys’ School student was however subsequently pronounced dead.
Jordan explained that the young man’s mother who was currently overseas was struggling to come to grips with the loss.
However, his step-father said his appeal to authorities to do something to stop people from swimming at the beach, could be backed up by what he was told by the friend who was with Francis at the time he got into difficulty.
“I was told by the person who was with him that they were in the water and he told her that he can feel something pulling at his legs. So he went to hold on to her, and when he grabbed her she said he got pulled away and went under.
“She called out for help and nobody came. By the time someone did get there, he was underwater for about 15 minutes. So when he was rushed to the hospital he had a slight pulse . . .,” Jordan said.
Jordan said Francis who could be described as a quiet individual who kept to himself, told him he was headed to the beach before he left home around minutes to 1 p.m.
“That was the last time I saw him. He would usually go to the beach, but he doesn’t go to that beach. He usually goes to Browne’s Beach. He never went to that beach before. So I don’t know why he went down there,” Jordan said.
“He was a cool person. He was quiet. He was laid back. He liked a lot of football. He was just the average person. He never did any harm to anybody.
“He lived here with me and never really had any major issues, he was just quiet. Everybody is taking it hard right now. When I broke the news to his mom yesterday, she was very distraught. She has three more children; two in front of him and one behind him,” he added. [email protected]