‘Mi father was everything to mi’ - Heroic dad drowns while rescuing children
Fourteen-year-old Luke Gordon Jr could hardly stand as he recalled the heart-breaking moments leading to the death of his father, Luke Gordon Sr, who drowned while trying to rescue two girls who were swallowed by water during a family trip to Reggae Falls, St Thomas, on Sunday.
The heartbroken teen said he could not help but watch painfully as his father, a 41-year-old taxi operator and grave digger at the May Pen Cemetery in Kingston, took his last breath.
"Mi bawl out 'daddy!', when mi see say him a go under the water," remarked the tearful Calabar High School student on Tuesday, when our news team visited his home in Trench Town, St Andrew.
Gordon Sr, who was described as a loving father to his two sons, Luke Jr and Quwayne Gordon, who is nine, began to sink after reportedly hitting his head on a rock and lost consciousness.
"Di wul a wi inna di water a play, but then wi get hungry and say wi ago get some snacks. Some of the kids dem did wah go by the falls, but a lady told us we couldn't go without an adult so mi father decide say him ago go out deh and a so everybody turn back," he related.
"We deh deh until di water slap weh mi stepsister and another girl. Same time mi father dive go fi har and then we no see him after that," the grieving offspring said.
For 20 minutes, rescuers attempted to locate Gordon Sr after both girls were brought to shore. Their fears were turned into reality when a off-duty soldier recovered his body from underwater.
"Mi couldn't tell yuh how mi really feel right now sir, mi numb because mi father was everything to mi," the son said.
Mary, who is Gordon Sr's older sister, also said the entire family was rocked by the incident and that her brother was an exemplary father who loved his children beyond words.
"Wi don't know what to think right now, everybody just at a loss for words. 'Dickie' (Gordon Sr's alias) loved his sons, everything is about them. Him is a good man who would do anything for his children and him always look out for other kids in the community also," Mary said.
Little Luke added that his father's death will have a lasting effect on him, but he was taking solace from the fact that his father died as a hero.
"Maybe the two girls dem would not be here right now if him never jump offa dem. Mi ago miss him forever, but what he did was something special and mi love him more for that," the teen said.
The incident happened about 4 p.m., according to Deputy Superintendent of Police Oneil Thompson, who is in charge of police operations in St Thomas. Thompson also used the opportunity to offer condolences to the grieving family.
"It is surely a difficult time for the family, especially Mr Gordon's sons. My sincerest condolences to them and the family generally and I hope that as time passes, their hearts will start to mend," Thompson said.