Categorized | National News

Growing Concern Over Missing Diver

Family members and friends of a missing diver and Jet Ski operator say they are growing concerned by the hour for his welfare and are hoping a woman who was allegedly riding with him when he disappeared will provide police with some answers.

Rufus Storr, 49, was last seen on Sunday at 3:15 p.m. on Cabbage Beach, Paradise Island.

The Bernard Road resident’s Jet Ski was later spotted adrift in waters.

A T-shirt and a life vest were spotted nearby.

On Monday, his family held a news conference at the Montagu ramp in eastern New Providence where they appealed to the public to join in the search.

Tears flowed freely amongst relatives who say they are growing increasingly worried.

Sandra Ferguson-Rolle, Rufus’ aunt and the family’s spokeswoman, said she last spoke with her nephew on Saturday.

Since then the family has heard nothing from police.

“We haven’t heard anything yet and this is why we are so distraught. No one has given us any information and it’s like we have to try and do our own investigation to see what’s going on because we would like to see what’s happening because this is very unusual; this is not like Rufus,” she said.

“He is a professional diver. He knows the water because he is an ex Defence Force officer.”

Rufus’ only son, Ashien Storr was overcome with grief, but said he is remaining optimistic.

“[I’m feeling] a lot of anxiety, but I’m trying to stay positive about the situation hoping things will be right. God has everything in control, but it’s also sad to see other family members heartbroken by the situation,” he said.

According to friends, one of the Jet Ski operators contacted Rufus’ family after he found his Jet Ski adrift.

Police were said to be questioning a woman who was allegedly with Rufus at the time he went missing.

“I am very concerned because they said the lady came in yesterday and gave several different stories so you don’t know what to believe. So, it has me suspicious,” said Patrick Glinton, who has known Rufus for 20 years and is also a Jet Ski operator.

“I am not accusing anyone, but I really need to know so that we can get to the bottom of this to know what to do and where we’re going.”

Mr. Glinton told The Bahama Journal yesterday that his friend’s sudden disappearance is very unusual as he is a “by-the-book diver.”

“What really hurts me the most is that I know him to be a very particular person. He doesn’t ride without a life jacket. They said they found the life jacket in the bike and his shirt there. That doesn’t sound right,” he said. “Rufus was a brother who’d operate on routine. Every day you would see him do the same thing over and over.”

“This has me crying. When I talk about it I get emotional because from [Sunday] night when I heard it I went by the Paradise Island Police Station and I realised it’s really true. So, we just came together and prayed.”

Mr. Glinton, who broke down in tears during the interview, spent most of Monday searching on Jet Ski for his friend.

As he was on the waters searching he said a “heavy feeling” came over him, leaving him to conclude that his friend might be dead.

Reflecting on his friend, he noted that Rufus was selfless and helped anyone in need.

“Week before last my Jet Ski was missing out there and this same brother was out there looking for my stuff and he never asked for a dime,” he said between sobs. “Rufus was a brother like this – he’d give you [things] never looking for [anything] in return. He was a brother; he’s real, he’s genuine,” he said.

“I’m just saying if anyone has a boat, let’s go out there and search for him. It’s sad, because his family and children they need to know.”

Mr. Glinton said Rufus’ disappearance is also having an impact on the tight-knit diving community.

Several divers turned out yesterday in show of support. Many of them had been searching for Rufus earlier. However, Mr. Glinton noted that they were all searching “blindly” as they were unsure of the exact spot where Rufus disappeared.

Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association (BASRA) officials were also searching by boat and helicopter.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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