By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE family of an American man who was swept into rough seas at Queen’s Bath, south of the Glass Window Bridge in Eleuthera last week, said his body was found “atop a cliff” not far from where he disappeared, according to international news outlets.
The 19-year-old man, Jonathan Brussow of Michigan, was one of two men reportedly at Queen’s Bath when a wave struck them and swept them into the sea on March 5.
Brussow was swept away, while his companion was able to hold on to a rock and managed to pull himself to safety. Officials on the island had closed the bridge a day earlier and the public had been told to stay away from the area.
“On March 9, 2018, Jonathan’s body was recovered atop a cliff several hundred yards down from where the sea grabbed him,” his family said in a statement, according to Fox 17 West Michigan. “It is our belief that he came ashore shortly after he entered the water and did not suffer.”
According to local police reports, shortly before noon on Friday, police were called to Gregory Town at the sand pit where they spoke with a local fisherman who, it is believed, discovered a human leg, what appeared to be human bones and a piece of clothing in an area referred to as ‘The Cliffs.’
Authorities gathered the remains and transported them to New Providence for DNA testing.
Brussow was one of several people pushed into waters by high waves last week after weather conditions led to severe sea swells at the Glass Window Bridge. The others were taken to hospital for treatment.
Local officials, along with the US Coastguard, had been searching for the young American since his disappearance.
In a post Facebook, Athena Williams, a 20-year-old woman who was Brussow’s girlfriend, wrote: “I am blessed with two beautiful families standing by my side through this tragic loss. Sitting here today in the Bahamas, I look out at the water and the sky and notice that this is the calmest day we have experienced this whole trip.”
The post continued: “We also hear dirt bikes running out in the distance! I truly do believe it is Jonathan calming the storm and telling us he is at peace and in God’s hands.”
Ms Williams went on to call Brussow the “love of my life.”
Officials on the island of Eleuthera, in conjunction with law enforcement officers, were forced to close the bridge and suspend ferry services last week.
Works Minister Desmond Bannister last week announced the government is considering the construction of a new $30m bridge to replace the current pathway.
Mr Bannister said while officials are open to evaluating the current bridge to determine its structural soundness, plans for a new bridge can no longer be delayed.
“We need to budget this year to construct a real bridge,” he said.
“But the reality is, the long-term solution is we are building a new bridge what could cost in the region of $30m to $40m.”