Categorized | National News

Family Loses Hope Missing Relatives Alive- Defence Force Continues Search

With no life jackets on board and at least two passengers who could not swim, officials said it is unlikely the three people reported missing on Friday are still alive.

In fact, some family members have even lost hope, stressing that at the very least they are praying that the bodies are recovered.

Long Island residents, 23-year-old Lakera Adderley, her 22-year-old brother Andy Adderley; her five-year-old daughter, Keanna Demeritte and family friend, 21-year-old Shaquille Adderley had planned to take a quick trip to Exuma to see Andy and Lakera’s sister and Keanna’s father.

The group left Exuma on board a 15ft Boston Whaler boat en route to Long Island around 4:20 p.m. Friday.

However, about 15 minutes into the trip, the boat crashed into a wave, causing it to capsize, tossing the passengers overboard.

“I swam from under the boat and saw my friend, Andy looking for the little girl. When he reached for Keanna, the current was carrying his sister, Kera way out. I tried to swim to her, but the current kept pulling her while the boat in the back of me was moving away. I couldn’t reach her any more and she went to the bottom,” Shaquille said in an interview with The Bahama Journal yesterday.

Lakera and her daughter could not swim, according to Shaquille.

“When I looked around Andy and Keanna were “no where in sight. Everyone was to the bottom,” he said.

Shaquille said he then swam back to the boat and began calling out their names, but no one answered.

He clung to the capsized boat until the following morning.

“I was just praying, praying and praying; asking God to help me through this and he did,” he said.

The young man was rescued by a passing boater some 15 hours later.

Since then, rescue teams that include officers from the police and defence forces along with resident from both Long Island and Exuma have been going out as early as 7:00 a.m. to as late as 5:00 p.m.

According to Shaquille, in some cases, people have been diving for four hours at a time, but they have found nothing save Keanna’s “little bag.”

“We’re hoping to at least find the bodies,” said one Long Island resident The Journal spoke with yesterday.

“…I hope they’re alive, but we must face facts.”

“I don’t think they’re alive,” said Shaquille’s grandmother. Things happened so fast.”

According to some Long Island residents, the search for the three people has been suspended but continues in Exuma.

At last report, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force’s (RBDF) search efforts continued.

According to RBDF officials, several factors are considered before such efforts are called off – the nature of the situation, the current, wind, location and the type of vessel involved.

Written by Macushla Pinder

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