BVI News

Hurricane throws body miles from grave

Salt Island before the hurricanes. (Photo Credit: Bareboats BVI)

The body of a woman was flung miles from her grave when Hurricane Irma impacted the territory last September.

According to family members, the body was buried late July on their private property on Salt Island.

BVI News understands that during the aforementioned category-five hurricane, the casket in which the body was buried was somehow uprooted several feet from underground.

Family members found the empty, mud-covered casket last November when they went to visit the island.

Searching for the body

Following the disturbing discovery, family members contacted local authorities for help after their initial search for the body proved unsuccessful.

A search party involving the police and other authorities eventually located the dead woman’s remains among trees miles away from the casket and burial ground.

“Her body was intact. There was no dislocation or broken bones” a family member told BVI News.

Preparing for reburial

Authorities then took the body into custody for official identification purposes.

With the process complete, family members now have the task of burying their loved one for the second time.

The family is said to have plunged into another wave of grief following the recent incidence.

BVI News understands that because of the incident, authorities have ordered that no more burials happen on Salt Island.

The body of the deceased woman will be reburied at the Greenland public cemetery.

Meanwhile, on Tortola, the hurricanes had also displaced several tombs in the Carrot Bay community.

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  1. No More says:

    We need to stop buying people all over the place. I think this is a bad practice.

  2. Albion says:

    In Cayman, after Hurricane Ivan, all the bodies were coming out of the ground. But all of their grave yards are at sea level, and the island is so flat that the water level covered the whole island for several hours. Can’t even imagine what that must have been like.

  3. VOLDAREN says:

    You cannot infringe on peoples human rights as to where they want to bury their loved ones. Get real.

    • daniel says:

      human rights?for the dead ones o live ones? come on –let us cremate the best way to dispose off the dead burying enriches the soil yes so is sea burial–dead comes back into food cycle –cremation must be the cleanest way– nu hurricane nor earth quake can find them to cause more grief

    • Utter Rubbish says:

      This comment is utter rubbish. How human remains are disposed of is first and foremost a public health issue.

      • Soo says:

        Totally a public health issue AND in a county with a past history of cholera and that is prone to hurricanes the practice of burying above the ground need to stop fast. Tomb stones can make marks

    • BVI lawyer says:

      It is definitely not a human right. The law is actually very restrictive about where you are allowed to bury deceased persons.

  4. @Voldaren says:

    Where someone is buried is a human right??? You all always talking some crap.

  5. ??? says:

    The body most likely floated away, not thrown….

  6. E. Leonard says:

    Super Cat 5 Hurricanes Irma and Maria changed lives and circumstances for the living, as well as disrupting the final resting place of the dead. Thought my cuz was reburied at her desired resting place long ago. It has been approx 6 long painful months since the passage of the super storms. What is the hold up? It is a painful experience and a wild ride for the family; it is time to bring closure.

    Bury the lady in her preferred resting place; let her rest peacefully at her birth place with her great grand parents, grand parents, mother, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends……….etc. Hope the moratorium on burying people of Salt Island subtract on Salt Island is only very temporary and is lifted soonest. This is a cultural norm for people of Salt Island subtract. Salt Island is a place of peace, solitude, quiet and enjoyment for them/their families.

    Moreover, People were buried on Salt Island for centuries, going through many gales/hurricanes without any incident(s). In October 1867, a hurricane struck and sank RMS Rhône, a Royal Mail carrier, near Salt Island. Some of the deceased crew were buried on Salt Island; the structure/hull of the RMS Rhône is now a popular dive site.

    Further, there were reports of Hurricanes Irma and Maria disrupting burial sites at the northwest area of Tortola. Is there a moratorium on burials at these sites? Additionally, Anegada is a remote, low lying atoll so will there be a moratorium on burial on Anegada? Instead of just taking the path of least resistance suggest developing and implementing criteria for burial in low lying areas. Were the people of Salt Island engaged on before the moratorium was imposed? Cuz RIP! #Salt Island Strong.

    • Salt Island Subtract says:

      Cuz, thanks for making a strong and reasoned case for our beloved ancestral home——-Salt Island. To the outsider, Salt Island may appear as barren and deserted spit of land. But to Islanders and subtract, it has a priceless magnetic draw, it has a rich heritage. There is a special bond among the people of Salt Island. By necessity, the islanders had to bond closely together to survive.

      The Island was small and neglected and had to fend for itself, struggling hard to eek out a living. It was a village, a cooperative, Natural disasters, economics, education…….etc resulted in migration from the island. Nonetheless, though former residents and offspring may be living on the mainland,there is a great affinity to Salt Island. Some of the older residents are passing on but it is vital that an unbreakable link is maintained and preserved for the next generations.

      Let us bury our dead among family and friends. Some may believe there is an after life connection. Let there be a great homecoming and reunion.

    • SMH says:

      My sentiments EXACTLY! Burial sites were selected and registered long time ago. No issues then so why and issue now?
      Let my cousin Rest In Eternal Peace!

    • Diplomat says:

      Nice, serene looking pic of Salt Island. Over the decades, Salt Island, along with the other Southern Cays, were neglected, forgotten and existed at lowest rung of the social ladder. Their opinions were never sought nor valued. At election time, politicians acted like politicians, pretending to care. Nothing has changed. In fact with the decline in population, things have taken a turn for the worst.

      Now, I will take a break off the soap box and talk about the saga of the floated casket. Undoubtedly, this whole saga has been a painful experience for the family. Their deceased member need to Rest In Peace at her beloved and tranquil Salt Island. And as others have said so rightfully and eloquently, the family needs closure.

      Moreover, Hurricane Irma was a super Cat 5 storm and perhaps once in a generation event. It was a rare weather and isolated event. The super storm caused severe damages in the VI, including disruption to grave(s) on Salt Island, Carrot Bay……..etc. But it was easy to stop burials on Salt Island for dead men tell no tales and cannot vote.

      Further, what are the findings of the government report, if one was ever done? Why was this the only casket floated? Was the casket properly secured? Was the grave too shallow? Instead of terminating burials, why don’t the MHSS developed some reasonable plans and specifications requirements. Salt Island is not the only place in the world where deceased love ones are buried in low lying area. Some other bloggers mention Cayman Islands. What do they do in Anguilla……….etc.

      What does the rep for the southern Cays have to say? Oh yeah, there are not many votes to be had. Islanders are neglected in life and so too in death. During the last election cycle, the Hon Julian Fraser, RA and D-3 Rep, advocated for repopulating Salt Island which at one time had a 100 people residing there. What is his stance today? Was it just election talk? Sad. May they all Rest In Peace.

    • Diaspora says:

      Well mai boi! This is more press than Salt Island got in all its prior existence. At least it is most that I probably have heard in my lifetime. Regretably, it took this extraordinary event to get some press. It is a testament as to how the outlying Islands, including VG, Anegada, Jost Van Dyke….etc, are thought about and treated——2nd class citizens, low on the social order. Nonetheless, it is encouraging to see “Key People” (E Leonard and others no diss intended) demonstrating the courage and ability to speak out.

      The VI is a class society that is slowly changing with the generational shift. Nuff comments made on the burial situation so I will let the descendants and subtracts (my distant family) loud voices ring out. Hopefully, your voices are heard heard, respected and acted upon.

  7. expat says:

    the whole CGB and Carrot Bay cemetery need to be relocated. too close to the sea.

  8. EE mother says:

    I agree with E. Leonard, let the family bury her back on Salt Island. Without knowing the deceased I am positive this was her wish to buried amongst her family. Its a very select family we are talking about here, not just anyone can be buried on Salt Island, I can’t possibly imagine they are happy about burying her in Greenland. Just dig deeper next time.

  9. Home Boy says:

    Albion, I can say first hand what it looked like as I was on duty just after hurricane Ivan impact Cayman. There were caskets all over the place as their cemeteries are close to the shore line. These caskets were immediately reburied without any delay. In some islands in the Caribbean, most of our cemeteries are close to the shoreline because of land space. In the case at hand I totally agree that this body be reburied at Greenland and the discontinuation of burial on Salt Island.

  10. Boo says:

    Just use vaults or make sure and go deep

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