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18-year-old disappears in waters at Stubbs

18-year-old  disappears in waters at Stubbs

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A young man of Stubbs is believed to have lost his life on Thursday, July 8, when he disappeared in the waters at the Stubbs Bay, but his mother is holding on to the firm belief that he is still alive.{{more}}

Eighteen-year-old Roosevelt Williams, also known as Dougal, encountered difficulty just after 12 noon while frolicking in the water with his sister Shanika Baptiste, who is home on a 10-day vacation from Canada for the first time in 16 years.

“I have hopes that my son is alive. The only how I could believe that my son is dead, I have to see him,” said Jane Williams, Roosevelt’s mother, to SEARCHLIGHT in an interview on Sunday morning.

“I feel real bad because everywhere I am going is me and my Dougal,” said the grieving woman.

Jane is however peeved at the Coast Guard. She said officers of the Coast Guard promised on Thursday to return early the following morning to give assistance in the search of her son, but they did not do so until late Friday evening.

“On Thursday, the Coast Guard was there and Mr. Williams told me he would be there the first thing in the morning on Friday. I went down there about six o’clock, I did not see him. I called the Stubbs Station and an officer gave me the Coast Guard Base number. I called the Coast Guard Base,” recalled Jane, adding that an officer told her three officers will be sent to Stubbs on a pick-up truck due to the difficulties the Coast Guard vessel would encounter if it were to enter the Stubbs Bay.

She said up until 1p.m Friday when she left the Bay, no one had shown up from the Coast Guard.

Jane said she was later informed by the Stubbs Police Station that the Coast Guard would not be coming out to Stubbs on Friday.

She said at that point, she contacted Coast Guard Commander Brenton Cain, whom she claims hung up the phone on her after a brief exchange.

Jane said she immediately contacted the popular New Times programme and told the nation of her plight.

She however disclosed that a Coast Guard vessel was seen combing the area late Friday, as well as on Saturday.

SEARCHLIGHT contacted Commander Cain on Sunday afternoon for a response to the grieving mother’s claims.

“She said that I hung up the phone on her, but this is not true. She called me and the phone cut off. I said, ‘hello, hello, I was not hearing her’.”

Cain said one of his swimmers, who received training from the Navy Seals, as well as other officers, went to Stubbs, but the conditions were very bad due to strong under currents and as a result of this, a prolonged search could not have been conducted.

“The vessel would not have been able to come in at Stubbs,” said Cain, noting that was the reason why the initial search was conducted by officers who travelled to Stubbs by land.

He said the Coast Guard conducted a thorough search of the waters around Stubbs, but they have not seen anything floating on the waters.

Cain said he believes that Jane is unreasonable.

Meanwhile Shanika, recounting the frightful encounter, said: “We were all playing and a couple of big waves came over our heads and we drifted over towards the rocks. We realised when the waves were gone, when we tried to put our feet down, there was nothing to touch. It was just couple of rocks and they were deep down.

“The waves just kept going over our heads and pulling us back down and push us back up and we had two seconds to breathe. I got scared, because it was my first time being in a situation like that. So I started to scream,” said Shanika.

She said Roosevelt was just a couple steps ahead of her, but he and another friend who was in the water with them came back and took her by her arms.

“A big wave come over and pulled my brother back behind me. His friend pulled me over a bit, but another wave came and took me back to where I was. I was trying to swim, but I wasn’t going anywhere,” said Shanika.

“I thought I was done,” said Shanika, noting that when she looked around again her brother was nowhere in sight.

She was rescued by her cousins Dwayne Miller and Michael Miller who live near to the beach and who came to the rescue when a boy called them for help. Michael was injured in the rescue bid and had to spend Thursday night at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH).

Shanika has joined her mother in expressing disappointment with the Coast Guard.

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