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A “drinking problem” has ultimately led to the death of 59-year-old Ciceron resident John Gabriel King, who is suspected of drowning in the Castries Harbour last week, according to a longtime friend of the deceased.
Steve Parker said King was well-liked but he was an alcoholic.
“All I knew John had a drinking problem. He was an alcoholic,” Parker told DBS, “because he went to Canada, they tried and help him, they couldn’t, they deported him. He came back here, he still had that problem. He was just an alcoholic, he just wouldn’t listen. Everybody would talk to him… ‘it’s time to leave that rum’, he just couldn’t leave it.”
According to a police statement, “on Thursday, November 30, 2017, about 6:00 p.m. officers attached to the Police Marine Unit responded to a report of a suspected drowning in the Castries Harbour, at Waterfront, Castries.
“It was reported that John Gabriel King had dived into the harbour and did not resurface. Recovery efforts were initiated, however due to poor visibility the search was called off. His body was recovered by officers attached to the Police Marine Unit, about 8:20 a.m. on Friday, December 01, 2017.”
Parker said he was overcome with emotions when he learned of his friend’s death.
“I coudn’t say anything, I couldn’t move… I couln’t believe it… so I went to the Harbour then they showed me where he jumped…I couldn’t believe… Nobody, nobody could not jump to save him. I understood they tried to give him a stick but John was too drunk, he couldn’t make it. He came up and he just went back down.
“I just started to cry. In spite of how he was he was a human being and he was liked. He will be missed,” Parker said.
King was known to walk for miles when under the influence of alcohol, Parker said.
“There was one time in Dennery, during the Christmas time, he walked all the way to Dennery to my home. As I told you, very lovable guy, everybody liked him, he was pretty nice. He had this charismatic thing about him, like he knows how to smooth to the customers, how to really get to the heart.
“He couldn’t leave the drinking,” Parker said.
“About two years ago, he was so drunk, he just took a dive in all the water, in the dirty water… by the market, Jeremie Street,” Parker added.
“Definitely, I will miss John King, I will miss him. We used to go karaoke together, and we used to really enjoy it. He was the life of the party, he was the life of the karaoke, anytime he walked in… We would even the John King hour at the karaoke, one thing about that. He used to go by karaoke by Pep, he used to go by Monty’s place. He was the life of the karaoke, we gonna miss that terrible, even my daughters did like him.”