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Body found near The Moorings could be St John resident Richard Benson

- Benson’s ex-wife announced his death on GoFundMe but police said body not positively identified yet
A photo of Richard Benson, which was posted to the GoFundMe page. Photo: GoFundMe
A screenshot of the GoFundMe page for Richard Benson. Photo: GoFundMe
A screenshot of the GoFundMe page for Richard Benson. Photo: GoFundMe
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI — When this news site had reported on September 23, 2017 that the body of a man found near The Moorings in Wickham’s Cay II, Tortola, the day after Hurricane Irma struck the Virgin Islands (VI), was yet to be identified, persons had suggested that it could be that of US Virgin Islands (USVI) boat captain, Richard Benson.

Persons had made the suggestion on the basis that Benson was missing in the USVI and the description given by police matched his'.

And Benson’s ex-wife, Linda Worthington, has since set up a GoFundMe page where she announced his death.

Worthington wrote on the GoFundMe page last week that her ex-husband had been missing from St John since the Category 5 Hurricane Irma, and his body has been found in the [British] Virgin Islands.

‘Red tape’

“The family needs help in travel expenses to get to St John to make his final arrangements. Richard's body was found in the British Virgin Islands and we have a ton of red tape and paperwork to complete before we can even transfer him back to US soil. I am Richard's ex-wife and I am helping our son, Daniel and his sisters with this horrific job.”

Worthington also wrote that it is his family’s wish that his remains be cremated and his ashes returned to the sea that he loved so dearly. “Please find it in your hearts to help his children to lay his soul to rest. His sailboat, the Goddess Athena, remains missing.”

The post; however, did not say when Benson was found or where, specifically, he was located.

Our newsroom made contact with the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) on October 3, 2017 but was told that the body was yet to be identified.

Benson was a seasoned seaman & mentor

And according to the Virgin Islands Daily News, Facebook tributes to Benson described him as a seasoned seaman and mentor to younger sailors who was beloved by fellow St Johnians and the tourists who chartered trips with him.

Benson’s family is crowdfunding because “the family needs help in travel expenses to get to St John to make his final arrangements,” according to Worthington’s post. His remains will be cremated and his ashes “returned to the sea that he loved so dearly.”

As of Friday evening, the page had collected $11, 275 of a $20,000 goal since it had been uploaded five days ago, and Worthington wrote that any money not used for family expenses will go to St John recovery efforts.

Posts on Facebook indicated that Benson may have been trying to sail south to escape Irma, but wasn’t able to beat the storm.

3 Responses to “Body found near The Moorings could be St John resident Richard Benson”

  • one eye (04/10/2017, 10:12) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    where is Fix it lets find him too
  • ... (04/10/2017, 14:52) Like (2) Dislike (6) Reply
    RIP I guess no Santa clause this year
  • Lori (07/10/2017, 00:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I have looked to this site for updates regarding my favorite place, St. John. Tonight, however, I am completely disappointed in this article. Many of us watched and searched for news on Captain Benson. I researched and found your article of the “still yet unidentified man” you posted. I shared it with Linda Worthington in hopes it wasn’t him but if it was, there could be closure. I also researched airfare before I donated to her. Anywhere from $1000 to $2000 and more. I have spoken to her and listened to her anguish and desperation that his son wouldn’t have to go identity his Dad alone. So how do you do it? Fly in to an Island that was destroyed? Swim? No, you contact the people that help you identify him and then secure airfare when you think you can get in there and make necessary arrangements. When she gets there, and his family, I sure hope there is a little more compassion than this. There are a lot of missing facts here. So sorry for his family.

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