NASSAU, Bahamas - A heartbroken father in the Bahamas was frantically searching for his 5-year-old son after the boy was blown away by a gust of wind when he set the boy on a roof to escape sharks as Hurricane Dorian pounded the island nation.
Adrian Farrington, 38, of Abaco, Bahamas, told the Nassau Guardian that his son, Adrian Farrington Jr. (nicknamed A.J.) kept crying.
“I keep telling him, ‘Don’t cry. Close your mouth. Don’t cry. Keep breathing. Don’t cry. Close your mouth,’” he said.
Farrington said at the time, his leg was numb, but he was still trying to stay afloat with his son in the rising waters.
“After about an hour of treading water and bleeding, I noticed...some fins swimming along the houses,” he told the paper. “So, I grabbed my son and I put him on top the roof. The water was high on the roof.”
Farrington said the water was “so high I could’ve taken my elbow and I could’ve put it on the roof to get up on the roof.”
But events took a turn for the worse when the hurricane’s winds swept the boy away.
“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,” the father said. “I still could remember him reaching for me and calling me, ‘Daddy.’”
Farrington said he then pushed debris aside and rushed to the other side to get to where his son had fallen, but he couldn’t find him.
“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,” Farrington told the Nassau Guardian.
When asked if he believed his son would be rescued, he said bleakly “anything could happen.”
“If he [is] rescued, I praise the lord. But for the surge, what I saw when I lose him, anything could happen. You had sharks swimming in the water, anything could happen,” the grieving father told the paper.
Civilians rescued Farrington and carried him to the hospital, he said.
He was flown to Nassau on Monday and transported to Princess Margaret Hospital, where is being treated for lacerations on his hand and two fractured bones in his right leg, the report said.
“I watched the surge push homes off the foundation,” he said of Murphy Town, where he lived. “What the surge didn’t destroy, the winds destroyed.”
On Thursday, emergency officials fanned out across stricken areas to track down people who were missing or in distress. Crews began clearing streets and setting up aid distribution centers.
Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis pledged on Friday that search and rescue teams are making every effort to find bodies in Abaco.
Officials said 30 people have been confirmed dead in the Bahamas, but the toll is sure to rise.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.