Beach-goers at a St James beach were thrown into a state of shock on Sunday when they witnessed a 61-year-old British national disappear at sea.
One of the eyewitnesses told Barbados TODAY that he was still in disbelief about the events that led to Mark Smith’s disappearance.
Opting not to give his name, the eyewitness explained that he and two other men were standing in the area when they saw the man making his way towards the water. He said they repeatedly shouted, pleading with Smith to turn back.
“I tell that man do not go in the sea. The man look at me and walk in the sea still and the rip current hold he and drag he out. But we tell the man do not go into the sea and them ain’t find the body up to now,” he said.
Showing Barbados TODAY the exact area where Smith was last seen, the eyewitness said, “We stand from right there and screamed ‘do not go in the water’.
“He get dragged from that point there to right there. That is a reef. When he realized he was in difficulty he was hollering for help, but nobody can’t save him. We just tell he don’t go in there. The water was worse than this here yesterday.
“You could stand up and see how the water is and automatically common sense would tell you, don’t go in there. You ain’t gine look at water in that condition and go in it… We speak to him and he didn’t open his mouth and he accustomed telling people good morning,” he said.
Police at Holetown station reported that they received a report around 8:30 a.m. from an eyewitness who said he saw a man bathing at the beach located near The Beach House, Sunset Crest, St James.
The report said the visitor who was staying at a guest house in Sunset Crest, was reportedly warned repeatedly by other persons present not to venture into the sea, as it was very rough and unsafe.
A search by the Police Marine Unit, the Barbados Coast Guard and other personnel, has so far been unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, Barbados TODAY visited the house where neighbours said Smith lives with his partner.
One neighbour, who said the partner was so overcome with grief that she slept at friends Sunday night, indicated that Smith, who was known in the area, “was an absolutely lovely person”.
“He was a really nice guy. He would do anything for anybody. This house was his pride and joy. This was his house. He was here a lot. He would go away for a couple weeks and then he would come back.
The neighbour said jet ski operators who are familiar with the missing man spent some time at sea today searching for him. ([email protected])