By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
RELATIVES of an Andros man who has been missing at sea for a week are pleading for people to come forward with information to assist police with their investigation.
Speaking to The Tribune yesterday, Cicely Armbrister, wife of missing fisherman Dwyane Armbrister, 54, said he was last seen on Thursday, March 26 with another man, who is also missing.
Mr Armbrister is described as having a dark complexion, slim build and is 5’7”.
“He’s been missing now like six days and we haven’t heard anything,” his wife said.
Mrs Armbrister said her husband went aboard a local ship to catch conch and fish off Mangrove Cay, Andros with another native, Peter Taylor.
The men, she added, were expected to return to the “mothership” after catching their fish. But, according to Mrs Armbrister, the men never did, and no one has seen them since.
She told The Tribune: “He went fishing way before (that Thursday) but we found out that he was missing that last week Thursday. It was two persons that were in the dinghy. My husband along with his keep-up man. The mothership returned back home in Mangrove Cay that Saturday. I was here in New Providence (when I heard the news). They called me over the phone.”
Describing the moment the family realised Mr Armbrister was missing, a close relative, who did not want to be named, told The Tribune: “On the 26th of March, that would’ve been a Thursday, I received information that his fishing boat went out from the main fishing boat and they never returned to the big boat.
“Since that time, the big boat has now returned to their home base in Mangrove Cay as of Saturday - that would’ve been the 28th with all the other dinghy boats attached and all of the crew members accounted for.
“…Up until now, this very moment we’re here and we have had searches. (The family) funded an air surveillance to do an aerial search of the area but that has turned up north and I am concerned.
“They would’ve only had like a gallon of water in that boat, limited snacks. I don’t think they had any additional clothing. It’s an open 17-foot Boston whaler, with a 40-horse power engine.”
Mr Armbrister’s family members said the matter was reported to police and other relevant authorities, who told them officials will launch an investigation.
Noting Mr Armbrister to be “a seasoned fisherman,” relatives said it is very unusual that no one knew his whereabouts. “He’s a certified deep-sea diver. This ain’t something new. He’s been doing this all his life,” his wife said.
Meanwhile, another relative added: “When it came to the sea, he knew the sea. He been going there for quite some time (sic). “He wasn’t the perfect person. He had his flaws and his issues, but he was hardworking, the most hardest working person I know. He was dedicated to the sea and everything but I’m praying that he is alive and well.”
Mr Armbrister’s relatives said everyone is affected by the whole ordeal and they just want him to return home safely. “We know the coronavirus is priority, but these other lives have to matter too,” a relative said.
Meanwhile, his wife added: “There’s other mother ships that are out there, but they might’ve been aboard one of those ships…I’m just hoping that they end up getting picked up by somebody else.”
A spokesman for the Royal Bahamas Police Force confirmed an investigation is ongoing into the matter and officers are still searching for the men.