Thursday 12 December, 2019

Late CMU student being hailed as 'a real Jamaican hero'

Terril Crossfield

Terril Crossfield

There has been an outpouring of sympathy and condolences for the family of Terril Crossfield, a 21-year-old student of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) in Kingston, who drowned after saving a woman from also drowning at Vortex Springs, Florida in the United States last Wednesday.

Many people are hailing Crossfield as a ‘hero’ for the selfless act that led to his passing.

The Students Union of the Caribbean Maritime University, in offering its condolences, said: “We pray that the Lord will give his family and friends strength in their time of grief.”

One social media user posted, "Omg. Only God knows. Rest well. Real Jamaican hero."

Another said: "Why can't ppl die doing bad deeds tho? smh...good soldiers always falling Sip young man."

Crossfield's friends also left comforting messages on his Facebook page. Many of those who commented expressed hope that Crossfield will be officially recognised for his heroic act.

“May his legacy live on… hopefully he is recognized for his great heroism,” one man wrote.

Meanwhile, no official funeral arrangements have yet been made for Crossfield. An Edwin Allen High past student, he had been residing in Pensacola, Florida at the time of his death.

"No funeral arrangements have been made yet, those will be handled by his family who are trying to come to terms with his sudden death; his death is still a very fresh thing,” a representative of the marketing and communications department at the CMU, told Loop Jamaica reporter Claude Mills on Tuesday.

“We don't know whether the body will be returned to Jamaica, we are just being respectful of the family's need for space as they work through this as best they can," the representative added.

Crossfield was a sophomore, a second year student going into his third year of a Bachelors of Engineering in industrial systems. It is a four year programme.

According to a release from the Holmes County Sheriff's Office in Florida, deputies responded to the drowning at the Vortex Springs venue on Wednesday at around 1:30 pm.

Vortex Springs is a freshwater diving, swimming and camping resort located in Ponce De Leon. Eyewitnesses told the police that Crossfield responded to a female swimmer, who showed signs of being distressed in the water.

The Jamaican successfully passed the swimmer to another individual in the water to bring her to safety on shore. But Crossfield then started experiencing difficulties and went underwater. Witnesses told the police that a diver pulled the student from the water and CPR was administered until emergency responders arrived.

The Holmes County Sheriff's Office said Crossfield was later pronounced dead at the scene.

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