Forty-eight-year-old John Watson has lost hope that he would recover the body of his 19-year-old son Jerome Romario Edwards.
Today, three weeks later, while at his St Peter home, Watson told Barbados TODAY that he was feeling as helpless as when he first got the news that his son went missing.
However, he said that he was also facing the reality that because of the nature of the sea, he may never see Edwards’ body again.
“It is going to be very hard to find anything after three weeks, especially if it is flesh. The saltwater does soften your skin and the next thing the body will get soft and the fish would pick at you. It has been three weeks; we would not even get to put him in the ground. I was hoping to give him a burial but that would be impossible now. This is three weeks now and any person would lose hope at this point in time,” said a grieving Watson.
On January 31, Edwards, of Gays, St Peter went missing at sea at Queen’s Street Beach, Speightstown, while in the company of three male friends. According to police reports, the sea was choppy and when Edwards was reportedly exiting the water a wave struck him and he did not resurface. He has not been seen since.
On the day Edwards went missing, several persons went searching for him, but their efforts were unsuccessful. The Marine Unit and Coast Guard also carried out extensive searches that were unsuccessful. The search was called off after two hours due to poor lighting conditions and was scheduled to resume the next day.
But, Watson, who said he knew his son was not alive, pointed out that he believed authorities could have done more to bring the young man’s body back to him.
“Since this happen I see the Coast Guard once. For the past few weeks, I was going to the sea walking and I saw the Coast Guard once and that was the Monday or Tuesday after it happened. I called the Coast Guard once and that was two weeks ago and up to now, them ain’t call back.
“A guy take my two numbers and tell me he will pass on the information to somebody that could get back to me but this is two weeks gone and I ain’t hear a fella call me. There was a drowning in Bathsheba, St Joseph, a couple of months ago and there had five or six Coast Guard vessels bout there looking for that guy.
“Fishermen can’t go out because of the curfew. But I guarantee you that if boats could go out they would have found him already. Boats only start going out Friday or something so last week and finding his body is impossible now,” the father said.
Watson also noted that he has heard from the investigator looking into the matter on a few occasions.
The body of English Visitor Mark Smith, who was reported missing at sea on the same day, was recovered on Tuesday, February 2. His body was found floating in the area of the Cliff Restaurant, about half a kilometre away from where he was last seen in the water.
Watson expressed appreciation to all those who extended condolences to Edward’s relatives and have continued to check in to see how they have been doing over the past three weeks.