Posted on

CORONER’S FILES: Death dive off jetty

Antoinette Connell

CORONER’S FILES: Death dive off jetty

Social Share

IAN NIGEL CARTER, age 29 years of Dalkeith, Ontario, Canada, was found dead by a Coast Guard Patrol in the water off Browne’s Beach, Lower Bay Street, St Michael, on February 5, 1999.
He had been reported missing since February 3, 1999, after he had visited that same beach that afternoon with his close friend Darrin Morgan.
Carter had arrived in Barbados on January 14, in order to attend his grandfather’s funeral and had stayed on for a holiday. He was staying with his uncle Coswald Downes along with other visiting relatives. He was due to return to Canada on February 4.
On the afternoon of February 3, Carter told his uncle he would make a last trip to the beach before his departure. He also invited his friend Morgan to accompany him to Browne’s Beach where he said he planned to dive off the jetty.
His uncle and other relatives said that Carter was in no way depressed or in poor health.
Morgan said he and Carter remained on Browne’s Beach for several hours and Carter was his usual jovial self.
Eventually Carter went over to the jetty from which Morgan saw him dive into the water. He also saw him resurface and he remained in that area talking to someone who Morgan did not know. They were about 90 metres away.
Morgan himself decided at this point to go for a swim and so lost sight of Carter. When Morgan swam back to shore after a few minutes he looked in the direction of the jetty for Carter but did not see him.
As the time was getting late, Morgan began to search the beach asking a number of people for him but no one had seen him.
Morgan kept up the search for several hours, he claimed, after which he decided to head for home, having collected Carter’s bag and clothing from the beach.
He knew him to be a good swimmer and while on the beach Morgan did not hear of anyone being in any difficulty. Morgan had noted that the sea had a tendency to be choppy with large swells close to the shore but ten metres out it appeared to be calm.
When Morgan reached home he informed Carter’s relatives who went immediately to the beach to continue the search for Carter.
It was not until the evening of the next day, Wednesday, February 3, that the Coast Guard received a report that a man had disappeared while bathing at Browne’s Beach. Search parties set off from Coast Guard Headquarters which continued until Thursday, February 4.
At about 7:30 a.m. a body was spotted floating 800 metres from shore opposite Harbour Lights Night Club. This body was towed to Coast Guard Headquarters.
It was noted, and as photographs revealed, the body had a severe cut at the top of the head and abrasions to the nose. The body was later identified as that of Ian Nigel Carter.
The post mortem examination report indicated that he died from cerebral oedema and Asphyxia as a result of drowning.
It is reasonable, given the photographic evidence and the findings of the post mortem that Carter struck his head on a sharp, jagged object after diving into the sea from the jetty thereby sustaining an injury which led to his drowning.
Verdict: misadventure.