BBC’s Mukoro feared drowned; wife heartbroken

Posted by News Express | 26 April 2014 | 3,857 times

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A BBC documentary filmmaker is feared to have drowned off Barbados.

Jay Merriman Mukoro was on a holiday with his wife, who he married less than a year ago, and waded into the sea for a swim on Rockley Beach in Christ Church.

The 43-year-old television producer, who recently worked as researcher on Andrew Marr’s ‘History of Modern Britain’, disappeared at 2pm and his wife Olivia told the Barbados Today newspaper that there was only a 15-minute period between seeing him enter the water and realising he hadn’t returned.

She added: ‘I was looking at him initially as he walked into the water and I had a book which I looked down at for a while.

‘Then when I looked up I couldn’t see him any more. I thought he must have just been out of my sight and then I saw someone who I thought was him and so I read my book a little bit more.

‘Then I looked up and I saw the person and realized they had a different build and it wasn’t him.

‘It was at that point I started getting worried and I got up and started looking up and down. Then I started to panic because I was looking and wasn’t seeing him on the beach.’

In the hours that followed, Mrs Merriman Mukoro alerted the authorities and fruitlessly searched for him into the night.

At the time there was a yellow flag flying on the beach which indicated caution should be taken.

Mrs Merriman Mukoro said the waves were high but there were a lot of people on the beach that day, and that Jay was usually very careful and would not go swimming too far out.

The psychologist, who has been in constant contact with the lifeguard, police officers and other authorities, said: ‘They have been looking since then and did not find anything. So they tell me they are still looking.’

She added that she was told that usually a body would be carried to a certain point if drowned, so it was strange that her husband’s body had not been found.

This was the couple’s first time to Barbados, and they had flown out to attend a wedding and for Mr Merriman Mukoro, a journalist with the BBC for the past ten years, to work on a documentary for BBC Scotland.

He has previously worked on Mixed Britannia and the BAFTA award-winning series History of Modern Britain.

Mrs Merriman Mukoro said the couple had just began to ‘imagine our life together, our future, our children together’ and added: ‘There is not much hope, but there is a tiny glimmer that some miraculous thing has happened that we can’t conceive of and that somehow he is somewhere and that is why we are making posters to put those around.

‘I am feeling incredibly lost, in shock and in pain. There is always that possibility of a miracle. It is a desperate time.’

She also said that if her husband had drowned, she would like to find the body so she could bring it back to Britain for a memorial service ‘so that people who love him and respect him can be there and celebrate his life and grieve together’.

One of Jay’s close friends and colleagues, commissioning editor at the BBC, Tony Phillips, told Barbados Today that his professional bond with Jay grew quickly over the years.

He said: ‘He charms all who come into contact with him, with his inquisitive nature and thoughtfulness to others. If only more of us journalists or otherwise, could be like him. Jay is always kind and never less than polite.’

BBC Scotland Editor, Marcus Ryder, said: ‘Jay had been in Glasgow for just a few weeks and had already become a very popular and respected friend and colleague.

‘We’ve been liaising closely with Olivia and the authorities in Barbados since she told us what happened and we’ve been offering any support we can at what is a very difficult time for her.’

•Credit (except headline): MailOnline. Photo shows Jay Mukoro.

Source: News Express

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