Relatives of 31-year-old Jeron Ferdinand, who was found dead on a ship off the Caricom jetty, say he might have been alive today if the process to search the ship did not take as long as it did.
“The system here is too backward. Everyone here is too laid back. There is a set of red tape to do one thing,” said one of Ferdinand relatives after an autopsy was done at the Forensic Science Centre this morning.
“If they sent someone on that vessel to do a thorough search from the time they heard about it, my brother would have been alive today. He might have been critical, but he would have been alive.”
Newsday was told that Ferdinand, who started Ultimate Bodyguard Security Services a year ago, was given a contract to guard the Shouter B ship, after it had been robbed. He worked one of the shifts from 6 pm to 6 am. When the relief went on the vessel for him he said he saw the bag ransacked and things scattered about. The relief called out to him and did not get any answer, so he came back ashore and called the police.
Emergency services were called and the security guard was questioned, while officers searched the ship to make sure Ferdinand was there. But according to Ferdinand’s relatives, the entire process to mobilise units took hours.
“CID come they have to wait on CSI to reach. When CSI gone to take their pictures on the boat nothing can be done because homicide have to come now. Then when Homicide comes you have to wait on the DMO. People were just trickling in and taking their time,” a relative said.
Relatives were told after first responders got back to shore at about 11 am that Ferdinand had been dead for about three hours when they found him. According to relatives, the entire process, from the time the report was made to the time Ferdinand’s body was taken off the vessel and taken to the FSC, took almost 12 hours.
Relatives also pointed out that after the report was made police had to call a Coast Guard vessel from Staubles Bay to transport them, even though there was a ship stationed off the Caricom jetty guarding tower D of the Hyatt.
“That ship has15-20 men. You could have seen the ship from that vessel. What would it have taken for two men to go on a dinghy just to check?”
Ferdinand was described as a reliable, jovial, loving man.
“You could really count on him. He was the kind of person that you could call on at any time and he would be there for you.”
Ferdinand was the youngest of eight children. Relatives said his death has hurt the entire family, especially his three children, who with the help of other relatives are still trying to come to terms with his death.
“They just want to know when their father is coming home.”