Mon | Dec 6, 2021

Bluefields fisherman missing at sea since Friday

Published:Thursday | March 18, 2021 | 12:27 AMHopeton Bucknor/Gleaner Writer


It has been almost a week since an elderly fisherman from Bluefields in Westmoreland vanished at sea. Days of searching have turned up no sign of 75-year-old Leonard Williams, and his loved ones are now fearing the worst.

Williams reportedly set out on a solo fishing trip from a section of Bluefields known as Black Bay about 8:30 a.m. on Friday and was expected to return home within hours.

When The Gleaner visited the community yesterday, residents reported that members of the community and the Marine Police have carried out several searches along the coastline and at sea, but neither Williams nor his canoe has been located.

“Mi nah rest until mi find mi father body and bring him home come bury right inna di yard beside him two brother and him sister,” said the missing man’s daughter, Carmetia Williams.

“The last time mi talk to mi father was last Thursday evening when him call mi and a ask mi how mi feel because mi did feel kinda sick. That was when him tell mi that him a go a sea the next day.”

According to Carmetia, her father had not gone fishing in the prior three months, and when she did not hear from him on Friday evening, she got concerned, even more so when he did not pick up the phone.

After leaving work, she checked his house and around the community and was told that her father was last seen sitting in his paddle boat just off the coastline.

Carmetia said that when she went to the police station and filed a missing person’s report, she was instructed to return the following day.

“... If when mi did mek the first report dem did act, maybe mi father would a find,” said Williams. “All the police had to do was to call in the Marine Police on Friday night, or Saturday morning, but a after mi go back a di police station, Sunday afternoon, and a sergeant start inquire why dem never mek a report to the Marine Police from earlier, that is when dem start to act.”

She said that persons travelling on a tourist boat informed them that they spotted a canoe floating on the water, with a motionless man lying inside, but when the Marine Police responded, they did not find him.

Williams’ cousin said it is not the first time that the fisherman has gone missing at sea. Several years ago, he, another man, and Williams went fishing, and their boat developed mechanical problems. After drifting for a while, they were rescued.