By Makeida Antonio
The family of the country’s first drowning victim for 2022 has been plunged into grief following the incident at Pigeon Point Beach on Sunday.
Swetes resident Elka Jarvis described the character of her late son, 23-year-old Jahmali Smith who resided with her up to the time of his untimely passing.
“We had a good relationship. He was always looking out for me and taking care of me; we would laugh and chat. He was a quiet person; we would have long conversations and he was very humble,” Jarvis said in an Observer interview.
The grief-stricken mother shared more about the character of her son and described his close relationship with his siblings and his friends.
“He was caring and had a lot of friends. He loved his family, loved his brothers and sisters. He’s my first son, my second child. All I think about is when I was pregnant and when I was holding him, watching him growing up, doing his school work and all of that just keeps coming back to me,” Jarvis recounted.
According to police spokesperson Acting Assistant Superintendent Frankie Thomas, law enforcement officers received reports that around 4:20 pm on Sunday, Smith, along with other close relatives and friends apparently went to Pigeon Point Beach to bathe.
It was further reported that after he went into the water he was not seen after some time by his friends.
After Smith did not return home, Jarvis, his mother contacted the Dockyard Police Station about 7:55 on Sunday evening to report his disappearance.
An immediate search was conducted in the area by the police with the assistance of the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force Coast Guard and the Antigua and Barbuda Search and Rescue (ABSAR).
At around 11:23pm, Smith’s lifeless body was discovered floating in shallow water off the said beach.
A doctor arrived on the scene and pronounced him dead shortly after 1am on Monday.
Thomas indicated that further investigations are ongoing into the incident.