A father in the Bahamas has described his devastation after he watched his 5-year-old son get swept away by a powerful storm surge during Hurricane Dorian. The boy had been placed upon a roof to protect him from rising waters and sharks.
Adrian Farrington, 38, of Murphy Town on the Abaco Islands, said he struggled to stay afloat in the waters with his son, Adrian Farrington Jr., after fracturing his leg as the Category 5 hurricane battered the Carribean.
The family home had been swept away as winds of up to 185 miles per hour hit the Bahamas, resulting in life-threatening rising waters and destruction.
“My leg was numb, but I was still trying to stay afloat with my son,” Farrington told The Nassau Guardian. “After about an hour of treading water and bleeding, I noticed… some fins swimming along the houses.
“So, I grabbed my son and I put him on top [of] the roof. The water was high on the roof.”
Farrington said that the water was so high that it reached just below the rooftop, meaning he could have used his arms from the water pull himself up.
“But before I could sit on the roof to hold him, the gust from the hurricane dragged him across the roof back into the surge on the next side,” Farrington said. “I still could remember him reaching for me and calling me, ‘Daddy.’”
The father said he desperately tried to search for his son in the murky and choppy waters where he had fallen.
“I was like feeling to see if I could feel some kind of cloth, some kind of clothes, some kind of skin, flesh… something,” he said.
“I ain’t find nothing. I come back up. I hold my breath and I gone back down again. All this time, people carried my wife to safety and they calling me, but I ain’t want to go because I didn’t want to leave my son.”
Retelling the ordeal to CBS Evening News, Farrington added: “If he be rescued, praise the Lord. But for the search, what I saw, when I lose him, anything could happen. You had sharks swimming in the water. Anything can happen.”
A.J.’s older brother, Richard Johnson, said he is fearful that he will never see his sibling again.
“Given the circumstances, I’m not that hopeful,” he told CBS This Morning. “Knowing I can rely on the Lord above to rest assure, that’s going to be hopeful for me.”
The father added: “The only thing I would want him to understand is that I love him and I tried everything possible as human to save him from the natural disaster.”
At least 30 people are confirmed to have died as a result of Hurricane Dorian, although this figure is expected to rise.
Health Minister Duane Sands believes the total death toll may be a “staggering” amount.
“The public needs to prepare for unimaginable information about the death toll and the human suffering,” he told local radio, via the BBC.