By FARRAH JOHNSON
EXUMA police are investigating a boating accident which left a man dead on Saturday. According to police shortly before 7pm, a 44-year-old man was running his 15-ft Boston Whaler in the vicinity of Exuma Point, Rolleville when he was thrown from the boat and hit by the propeller.
The victim was pulled from the water in an unresponsive state and later pronounced dead by medical personnel. No one else was injured during the incident.
Family members have identified the victim as Antonio “Rat” Rolle. His older brother Hansel Rolle, told The Tribune he witnessed the tragic incident unfold.
“He was taking the boat to the ramp to pull the trailer and take it out of the water and apparently he got thrown out of the boat and the boat turned around, came back and the propeller cut him in his head,” he said.
“We was in the area and we saw what happened and then we went to assist him, but unfortunately when the guy dived him up he was unresponsive.”
Asked how quickly they were able to respond to the accident, he added: “Well, what happened was the area in the water where he landed was kind of dark so when he got flung from the boat he was submerged and they really had to look for him. I reckon he was underwater for about 10 minutes.”
Mr Rolle said his brother’s death has affected him greatly because they were extremely close. “He was a people’s person,” he said. “Anybody could have really get along with him. He was funny, he loved to dance and he was an entertainer, so right now it’s rough.”
His mother, Selma Woodside, also told this newspaper her son’s death has left a big gap in her life. “I live in Nassau and he lives in Exuma, so I really can’t believe it and I haven’t shut my eye since I got that news,” she said.
Mrs Woodside said her son was a mason by profession and had only gone out on the boat that day to “try and catch one or two fish”.
Insisting he would be dearly missed, she added: “Antonio was a down to earth person, he could get along with anybody and I mean anybody. If he had it, you can get it and he would make you laugh if you were feeling sad.”