A 22-year-old Bocage, Castries resident has been identified as one of two men who were rescued this week after their boat was adrift for 23 days, relatives have confirmed.
Richie James is “alive and well”, his mother Rudy Corke told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) this afternoon, June 14, 2017.
Corke said she received the good news from her 19-year-old son who was contacted by his brother. She was told that James is in Aruba and requires his passport and a plane ticket to return to St. Lucia.
She told SNO that she is relieved by the news.
“My heart never told me that he was dead. I keep telling them he is not dead, he is somewhere,” she said.
Corke said she had no idea her son had left the island.
“I didn’t know he was going anywhere. He doesn’t live with me,” she noted.
James and his friend, 26-year-old Martinique national Ismael Nemorin, aka Ti Costo, were reportedly rescued by the cruise ship ‘Adventure of the Seas’ after they were spotted on a boat 800 kilometres off the coast of St. Lucia.
They arrived in Curacao on June 13.
Nemorin told French media that his other friend, Martinique national Christophe Quimper, aka Bato, 43, experienced hallucinations and jumped overboard. It is not yet clear if Quimper’s body was recovered.
Nemorin said their fishing boat, ‘Royalty’, developed engine problems on their return journey between Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21, and started drifting 49 kilometers from Saint Lucia.
Previous media reports indicated that the French nationals had reportedly set sail for St. Lucia from Martinique on May 19 and were last heard from on May 20.
Meanwhile, James’s mother told SNO that based on information received, the Martinique nationals met her son then departed for an undisclosed location. It is not clear if they met her son in St. Lucia.
SNO was initially told by persons close to James that the French men were fishermen who left with the St. Lucian for a “fishing expedition”.
In an earlier story, the mother told SNO that her son is involved in bad company and she has advised him many times to change his life, especially after he survived a shooting about a year ago.
Asked what advice she would give to her son when he returns home, she replied: “The same advice I always give him.”
She noted that she is a Christian and she always encouraged him to “come back to Christ”. She also pointed out that her 19-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter are Christians.
She said when James returns she will also advise him to stop hanging out by the road side with his friends.
“He knows exactly that’s what I am going to say to him. He knows that’s all I talk about. That’s why he avoids talking to me because he said I always preaching, preaching to him,” the concerned, but calm mother said.