A 17-year-old resident of Redemption Sharpes died on Saturday at Petit Byahaut during an excursion at sea organised as a treat for volunteers at Harvest Bible Chapel.
Police said on Monday that Cauldric “Junior” Williams drowned.
“Reports are that Williams went on an excursion with friends on the Leeward side of the island (St. Vincent), when a stop was made at Petit Byahaut. Williams and two other young men went to swim and he disappeared underwater. His body was later discovered at the bottom of the sea,” police said.
A post-mortem examination is expected to be conducted, the police said in a statement.
Sydney “Tony-C” Clarke, one of the two men when went swimming with Williams, spoke to Williams moments before be died.
Clarke told I-Witness News on Monday that the deceased is a member of the set up team at Harvest Bible Chapel and the excursion on board a catamaran along the Leeward coast was organised to show appreciation for these volunteers.
The website of the non-denominational Christian church had extended an open invitation to all Harvest volunteers to its “Volunteer Appreciation Day” (Jan. 31, 2015) , telling them, “Save the date for a fun day of catamaran cruising down the leeward coast.”
Clarke told I-Witness News that about 60 persons were on board the vessel, which sailed to Richmond.
On the return leg to Kingstown, the catamaran moored at Byahaut, one of two secluded beaches located between Buccament Bay and Clare Valley.
Clarke said that most of the persons on the excursion were in the water snorkelling at Byahaut, where the yacht was moored.
He said that he, Williams, and another persons decided to swim to the beach, but he later noticed that Williams was falling behind and told him that if he was getting tired he should rest on a rock in the water.
He said that when he checked again sometime later Williams was not seen in the water.
Clarke told I-Witness News that a crew member of the catamaran also inquired about Williams.
The crew member then donned snorkelling gear and found the young man on the seafloor.
A doctor on board the vessel tried to resuscitate Williams but was unsuccessful in doing so, Clarke told I-Witness News.
Clarke said Williams was like his own son and assisted him greatly on his farm.
He lamented the death of the young man, saying that he did not hear him struggle or even cry for help. “It makes me can’t sleep; can’t eat,” Clarke said
“He’s like one of my adopted sons. It’s really sad and painful.”
Williams’ mother, Laverne Williams, believes that her son might have been alive had be not been invited to the excursion.
She told I-Witness News that her was about to go fishing with some friend on Saturday when he was invited to the excursion.
Clarke said he is especially saddened since another member of Harvest Bible Chapel had sent him back on Saturday to collect Williams and some other persons, noting that the excursion was planned especially for the persons who volunteered at the non-denominational church.
Meanwhile, Williams’ father, Augustus James Smart, on Monday was trying to make sense of his son’s death.
He said that his son was asthmatic but has not had an asthma attack in a while.
Smart, however, wondered if the condition might have contributed to his death.