Regional

Daughter clinging to slim chance that father is still alive

Lost at sea

BY HORACE HINES Observer West reporter hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, December 05, 2013    

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FALMOUTH, Trelawny — DEVOTED Christian Treion Rowe is desperately clutching to a glimmer of hope that somehow her father, 76- year- old fisherman Byron Rowe of Martha Brae, Trelawny, who went missing at sea on November 15, is still alive.

"Anything is possible. I am a Christian, I cannot give up," said the distressed daughter, who spoke with the Observer West during a fasting session at the Jamaica Open Bible Church in Falmouth Gardens, on Monday.

But while Rowe's daughter is still hopeful that her father is alive, the consensus among most fishers at the Falmouth Fishing Beach is that it is unlikely that he is still alive.

Among those is one of Rowe's friends, Chancellor, who theorise that the body might have been eaten by fishes or is trapped under a rock in the deep.

"A must drown him drown. He could not be alive out there for so long. Either he is eaten by fish or he is hitched up under a rock where he will remain until him rotten," Chancellor surmised.

Gary Thompson, one of the divers, involved in a search for the very jovial and kind-hearted veteran fisherman, concurred with Chancellor.

Three Fridays ago, Rowe set out to sea from the Falmouth Fishing Beach and was expected to return the following day, Saturday, November 16.

But since then, the veteran seafarer has not been seen or heard from.

His distraught daughter told the Observer West that on Sunday, November 17, when her beloved daddy did not show up at her house in Martha Brae for breakfast as was customary, she became concerned and started to call his cellular phone, but it went unanswered.

"Actually, I was the one who got suspicious because normally he would come for his breakfast on a Sunday morning and he didn't come. So I started calling and did not get any response," the despondent daughter recalled. "However, I had to come to church and went back home and continued calling but still did not get any response from the phone."

She said although she was a little worried after being unsuccessful in getting her dad on the phone, she figured he might be with one of his friends, who was visiting from abroad.

"But while I was not getting a response, at the back of my brain I was saying to myself maybe his friend Mr Turner who was here for a month... so I was saying he was with Mr Turner that is why I did not get him," she reflected.

But the following morning, after going to the fisherman's house she noticed it was padlocked from outside, indicating he was not at home. She journeyed to the fishing village in Falmouth where upon inquiring, she was informed that her father's boat was not

docked there.

"I went down the fishing village and spotted a fisherman down there and he said the boat is not there but the concrete thing that they normally push it up on is there. So he said I should go and find out from Mr Turner or Perpie (another of his friends) because he would go with either one of them," she explained.

But, neither man knew the whereabouts of her father.

"When I went to Perpie he said he didn't see him because Mr Turner is here and when Mr Turner is here he would go out (to sea) with Mr Turner. I went to Mr Turner who said he wasn't here for the weekend because his mother died in St Mary so he went to the wake and funeral. So when he came down on the Saturday evening he was calling to inform him that he was back and could go fishing in

the night," the distraught daughter told the Observer West.

The matter was later reported to the police and a search was undertaken by the marine police.

On Thursday, November 21, Rowe's leaking boat, partially submerged, was found in shallow waters, near Scarlett Hall in the parish, a short distance from Falmouth.

The marine police told the Observer West that the search for the missing fisher continues.

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