The family and friends of dive instructor Paul Roos will say bon voyage to the Jolly Harbour resident who will set sail for the last time when he is buried at sea later this month.
On February 29, family members, well-wishers and associates of the deceased owner of Jolly Dive will gather at Jolly Harbour Marina and depart at 2pm for the ocean burial approximately seven miles out to sea, with Wadadli Cats leading several boats to the site.
In a social media post, the Antigua and Barbuda Sports Fishing Club said the businessman “will be remembered as one of the island’s longest dive shop operators, who had a warm greeting for all he came into contact with”.
Roos was found dead on January 13 in the water at the marina that houses two of his boats.
A post-mortem completed on January 31 ruled the cause of death to be a haemorrhagic stroke.
Yacht captain Kevin Moses told OBSERVER that his life was changed forever after he met Roos.
“Paul was the first person who employed me after leaving school, even though I didn’t have much experience in the sailing industry and our relationship grew from there,” he said. “He was like a father and was often there for me when I had problems.”
Moses remembers Roos as a “genuine people person” who got along with everyone he encountered.
He added, “I don’t think anyone has a bad word to say about him. I don’t know how life will go on without him.”
Moses explained that Roos and a business partner sent him to Florida in the 1980s to study to become a certified captain and he subsequently returned to Antigua to skipper theKokomo Cat, Roos’ excursion catamaran.
Fellow tour operator, Adventure Antigua owner, Eli Fuller, said that Roos was not only “great at hiring people” but also helped several other individuals to become boat captains as well.
“He definitely played a huge role in how the excursions were run in Antigua and his methods were always super respectful to the environment,” Fuller added.
Roos leaves behind long-term partner Cornelia, two daughters, Amber and Kara, and a four-year-old granddaughter, Claire. He had four siblings, including a twin brother.
Born at sea on a boat in the Indian Ocean, it is suiting for him to be buried at sea too, said son-in-law Matt Wilson. Roos spent the first few years of his life in Holland and later lived in the US before moving to Antigua in the 1970s.
Scuba diving was one of his greatest joys. “Paul loved diving,” Wilson told OBSERVER. “He ran the dive shop because he loved it and because it gave him the chance to go out diving almost daily.”
A gathering to remember Roos will take place on Jolly Beach after the burial. Attendees are encouraged to wear bright clothing.