Monday 14 October, 2019

Search for body off Treasure Beach coast has not ended - police

File photo of a Marine Police boat team searching the waters off the Treasure Beach coast for the bodies of the two drowned men.

File photo of a Marine Police boat team searching the waters off the Treasure Beach coast for the bodies of the two drowned men.

The police are reporting that unfavourable weather conditions and choppy waters prompted the authorities to temporarily suspend the search to recover the body of 26 year-old Northern Caribbean University (NCU) student Karanja Gayle in the Treasure Beach area of St Elizabeth.

The action sparked rumours in the community that the search had been called off because the body had supposedly been claimed by sharks.

However, the police have dispelled the rumours.

"According to the sub-officer of the Marine Police station in Black River, the search has not been called off, only suspended due to the sea conditions which are challenging," head of the police’s Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), Deputy Superintendent Dahlia Garrick, told Loop Jamaica reporter, Claude Mills.

The National Hurricane Centre has issued a small-craft warning because of "broad high pressure across the west-central Atlantic, which will maintain fresh to strong winds across much of the Caribbean through (to) Friday, with near gale-force winds possible at night near the Colombia coast."

Gayle's body has last been seen some 30 metres off the beach at Frenchman's Bay in Treasure Beach.

After local fishermen recovered the body of Gayle's swimming companion, 26 year-old Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldier and NCU student, Joseph Anderson, the police had been optimistic in their quest to recover Gayle’s body to bring closure to his family.

"As soon as the weather improves, the Marine Police will resume the search," Garrick said.

Police reports are that at about 3:20 p.m. on Monday, Gayle and Anderson were swimming off the beach at Frenchman's Bay, when they experienced difficulties and were swept away by the waters.

Anderson’s body was recovered around mid-morning on Tuesday, but the task has been much more challenging in relation to Gayle’s body because of adverse sea conditions and the reported presence of numerous sharks near where the body has been sighted.

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