Family Waits Again As Rbdf Legal Team Not Ready For Case

Family members of Christopher Turnquest pictured at a previous hearing delay.

Family members of Christopher Turnquest pictured at a previous hearing delay.


Tribune Staff Reporter


GRIEVING family members of Christopher Turnquest, a 25-year-old who was killed in a boating accident involving the Royal Bahamas Defence Force last year, will have to wait until today for the inquest into their loved one’s death to begin as the matter was adjourned yesterday because the legal team for the law enforcement agency had not been properly briefed.

A lawyer for the RBDF, Calvin Seymour, apologised and requested the adjournment, saying: “We know nothing about the case or the interested parties. Our firm’s name was tossed around with no instructions and so we did not see a need to go further.

“We humbly request an adjournment to sit, discuss with police officers and get the file.”

Mr Seymour said they were given instructions in the case only yesterday morning.

Coroner Jeanine Weech-Gomez called the situation “unfortunate”, and she blamed the RBDF for the delay, saying: “I don’t know why the defence force waited until the eleventh hour to get this going. It’s not like this matter happened yesterday. It’s most unfortunate having regard to all the circumstances. They were informed from April and should’ve been ready for Monday.”

Asked by The Tribune for a response to its lack of readiness to proceed with the inquest in a timely fashion, the RBDF did not respond up to press time yesterday.

In the courtroom yesterday, a number of defence force witnesses sat near the Turnquest family.

The deceased was in the harbour off Potter’s Cay Dock in a 13-foot skiff around 8pm on October 2, 2016 when his skiff was struck by a RBDF vessel.

He was on the skiff with his cousin who jumped from the vessel moments before the collision and survived the crash.

According to the family, an autopsy of Christopher’s body revealed he had died of blunt trauma to the body.

The Turnquest family has been upset about how slowly the matter has progressed.

They created a Facebook page called Justice for Chris to honour him.

The matter was initially expected to start on Monday, however when Turnquest’s relatives arrived at court, they were told the coroner had taken two “personal days.”

The inquest will resume at 1pm today.


Sickened 2 years, 5 months ago

Whoever is in charge at the RBDF for organizing this should be held in to contempt of court for not only wasting the courts time but also for the additional pain and suffering of the family. Not being prepared for a well known court date is the same as telling the judge 'screw you, we don't take this case seriously'.


baldbeardedbahamian 2 years, 5 months ago

RBDF are an incompetent bunch of goof-offs for the most part. This demonstration of their incompetence should not be unexpected. The Officer in command of the vessel that killed this young man will be jailed if justice is done.


sheeprunner12 2 years, 5 months ago

Do not rush to judgement ........ 13 foot skiff in the harbour at night collided with large motorized vessel ......... That deserves a fair trial and investigation ......... But the wait is unconscionable


ACCP 2 years, 5 months ago

Don't be quick to judge.....


ryant23 2 years, 5 months ago

The rbdf collided with the 13 foot skiff bro. Wish you saw how they ran straight through the dinghi. @sheeprunner. The rbdf boat struck chris straight in body anf head. Straight out of boat. While survivor had to jump for his life.


sheeprunner12 2 years, 5 months ago

My friend ...... there are maritime rules and laws that govern who, what, where, how, why and when a "skiff" can be in the area where the accident happened ....... Do not get all bent out of shape because you may have familial ties ........ But I feel the family's pain nonetheless ........ The law has NO emotion


themessenger 2 years, 5 months ago

There are no rules as to where or where not you can operate your skiff, boat, vessel in the harbour provided that you don't anchor in a recognized shipping channel or turning basin. The question I would raise here is did the skiff have running lights and if so were they on. The RBDF are not always as professional as you think, many times I have seen them myself tearing through the harbour at night with no lights showing. Also their enforcement of the no wake zone within the harbour limits is a joke, I've seen them stop family's for barely leaving a ripple while the jet skis and druggie go fast boats act like jitneys on the water, selective enforcement I believe they call that. If the boat that the young man was in had running lights and they were illuminated the case is closed and the RBDF crew should be held accountable.


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