‘Unimaginable tragedy’: Jamaican family devastated after one brother drowns, other missing in US
Tavaughn (left) and Tavaris Bulgin in happy times.


That's the only word to describe the gloomy environment surrounding the Bulgin family as they contemplate the loss of two brothers, 26 year-old Tavaris and 21 year-old Tavaughn Bulgin in a tragic drowning incident that has stunned the nation.

"All you can do is pray," Reverend Leslie Pinnock of the Escarpment Road New Testament Church of God, told OBSERVER ONLINE on Monday evening.

A close friend of the Bulgins, he answered the phone of Reverend Keith Bulgin, the pastor at the Palmers Cross New Testament Church of God, when a reporter called.

"This is...unexplainable, we're just trusting the Lord."

The body of Tavaris Bulgin, 26, was recovered around 6:30 Monday morning. Bulgin and his brother Tavaughn Bulgin, 21, were part of a group that jumped off the infamous Jaws bridge that connects Edgartown to Oak Bluffs around 11 pm Sunday. The younger brother is presumed dead.

Jaws Bridge is said to be a popular tourist attraction on the island and many people jump from it during the summer, despite a sign warning people against it. The waters are known to be treacherous, especially dangerous for novice swimmers.

The brothers were from Clarendon, Jamaica, and were working at a restaurant on Martha’s Vineyard for the summer as part of the popular work-and-travel programme which employs hundreds of university age students from Jamaica each year.

"They were absolutely amazing young men. They grew up in the church, one attended University of the West Indies, and the other attended UTech; both studied business. They played music in church, and were actively involved in their father's ministry; these were young men who were destined to make a difference," Reverend Pinnock said.

While Reverend Pinnock was talking, the reporter could hear the keening wail of a woman in the background. The wail sounded like all the pain and grief in the world, a single high note that seemed to reverberate off the walls, rip through the telephone speakers and shake the core of one's very soul.

"The community is mourning, entire congregations are mourning," Reverend Pinnock said.

The brothers, the second and third children in the family, had two sisters.

Reports are that the brothers' parents, Keith and Jacqueline Bulgin, had to be taken to the May Pen Hospital following the devastating news.

"They are home now. They have a lot of support around them, we are trying to stand by them," Reverend Pinnock said.

Reverend Bulgin has had a rough couple of years as his father, Theophilus Bulgin, a deacon at the Hastings Baptist church in Trelawny, was burnt to death in his house in August 2019.

CLAUDE MILLS , Observer Online writer

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