KINGSTON, Jamaica, Aug 23, CMC – The search is expected to resume Thursday for a five-year-old American national, who was due to return home today, but has been missing since Tuesday after going on a raft up the Martha Brae River that winds through Jamaica’s tropical inland rain forests.
Members of the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard divers and raftmen are searching for Jace Jones of Massachusetts, United States and 65-year-old Llewellyn Reid, also known as “Bagga Jagga” of Zion in Trelawny.
Media reports said that on Tuesday afternoon, Reid was navigating a raft down the river with the five-year-old boy, three male siblings — ages ranging from five to nine — and their female cousin when the five-year-old fell off the raft. Reid jumped into the water to save the child but got into difficulties and is feared dead.
The children were eventually rescued from the raft after it drifted to a section of the river bank.
Wesley Innis, the grandfather of the American boy, said life jackets had been put on the children before they went on the raft.
The five-year-old and his two older brothers were visiting relatives on the island when they went to the popular attraction.
The operator of Rafter’s Village, Johnny Gourzong, described Reid as a very experienced rafter.
“This raft captain (Reid) is one of the most experienced. He was a good swimmer ,” he told the Observer newspaper.