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UPDATE: James Leonard fell off boat – Eyewitnesses claim

According to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, James Leonard aka ‘Jamesey’ was pronounced DoA at Peebles Hospital on May 16, 2017. Photo: bvipirate.com
COOPER ISLAND, VI - Mourning the tragic death of Cooper Island resident and beneficiary owner, Mr James 'Jamesy' Leonard, close friends and eyewitnesses have brushed aside speculation of foul play in his death.

The body of James Leonard aka 'Jamesy' was found late yesterday afternoon May 17, 2017 off Cooper Island where he lived.

Mr Leonard was said to be a strong swimmer and his suspected drowning fuelled speculation that foul play may have been involved.

But according to information reaching this news site from at least three persons who were allegedly at the Beach Bar area at Cooper Island on the ill-fated day, ‘Jamesy’ was out on his boat "having fun" when something went wrong and he fell off the boat and into deep waters. According to our sources, it appeared that the man's head collided with the propeller of the boat’s engine and he went under.

Persons reportedly quickly dived to his aid while others called VISAR for help. "We got to him before VISAR arrived and we were trying to revive him, VISAR came and they took over and rushed away to Tortola with him but he was gone, we knew he was gone," related one of the eyewitness.

They described him as a man who made everyone happy with his jovial spirit but also noted that he loved his drinks too. 

‘Jamesey’ was pronounced DoA @ Peebles Hospital- Police

According to a press release from the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force today, May 19, 2017, members of the Criminal Investigation Unit on Wednesday May 17, 2017, around 5:25 PM were summoned to Peebles Hospital after it was reported that an unresponsive young black male was brought to the hospital from Cooper Island.

“Investigation revealed that the young black male, identified as 38 year old James Leonard Sr of Cooper Island, was found floating in the waters off Cooper Island. VISAR and Police were summoned and upon arrival made attempts to resuscitate Leonard, who was eventually transported to Peebles Hospital. There he was pronounced dead on arrival.

“Police are carrying out investigations into the death of James Leonard Sr. The death was reported to the Coroner,” the press release stated.

See previous article published May 18, 2017

Body of James Leonard found off Cooper Island

Information reaching our newsroom is that the body of James Leonard aka 'Jamesy' was found late yesterday afternoon May 17, 2017 off Cooper Island where he lived.

The circumstances surrounding his death are unknown; however some believe it may have been the result of drowning.

The young man was pronounced dead at Peebles Hospital after the body was transported to Tortola by Virgin Islands Search and Rescue.

Mr Leonard, a Virgin Islander, attended the Elmore Stoutt High School on Tortola.

More information will be provided once it becomes available.

42 Responses to “UPDATE: James Leonard fell off boat – Eyewitnesses claim”

  • Fam (18/05/2017, 05:58) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    RIP CUZ
  • The Judge (18/05/2017, 07:35) Like (48) Dislike (9) Reply
    We have to start looking beyond what we see. It could appear to be drowning, however the question of "did someone drown him?" until we could rule it out. I live there for a long time, he could swim, then how would he just drown just so. I remember the case when two tourist was swimming in our water and wife drown. We ruled it as drowning until America brought charges against the husband and we were later able to have a conviction. Lets stop looking on the surface and dig deeper. Some tourist drown their spouse for insurance money. Why they come to the Caribbean to do it? Because they know that we only check the surface of things. That's why we have so many unsolved murders.
    • True (18/05/2017, 08:25) Like (20) Dislike (1) Reply
      It could be foul play but also we have to take into account that James was a great swimmer, and also a heavy drinker.
      • a proud bvislander (18/05/2017, 10:46) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
        I taught Jimmy and his sister and brother to swim when they were very little children and he was brilliant and great and he helped bring back a young person from Salt who had been stung by a box Jelly Fish...He was there for me, always and I am very sad to hear he has died..Bless his Heart...
    • mehn (18/05/2017, 11:06) Like (8) Dislike (7) Reply
      Update, was he murdered. A serious wound was found at the back of his head.
    • liz (18/05/2017, 14:13) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
      Absolutely agree!!!
  • de silent one (18/05/2017, 08:21) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    It's very sad to hear of this, my condolences goes out to the family. It may be considered drowning at this juncture, as we all know him to be a very good seaman. Now the question is what could have caused/contributed to the drowning. Guess we all are left to see the outcome of the autopsy result.
  • Well Sah (18/05/2017, 08:55) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    I was here wondering the same thing. This is a man whether he drunk or not knew how to handly himself in the water where is grew up and respected ti. This whole thing sounds fishy!
  • Lawdman (18/05/2017, 09:44) Like (17) Dislike (9) Reply
    Yeah, I agree with you, The Judge. How come he drowned? Is there an issue on Cooper Island that needs to be exposed soon? Vino better go over there to find out what's going on. Be careful with those who want to buy your grandparents land and bringing radios and trinkets as tokens. Hold on to your land as long as you can. No suitcase of money can pay for the blood of the millions of our people who perished in the Atlantic Ocean . Don't part with your reward so easily. Fight on, people. Fight!
    • Wow! (18/05/2017, 10:35) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
      @Lawdman and the Judge. I'm in agreement with both of you. I hope the authorities when doing the autopsy check the body thoroughly for any signs of foul play. We aren't selling our property and just know that not because he's gone means that they can do what they want over there. There are many of us where he came from and we will be checking in from time to time. Don't bother thinking to squat either.

      The police needs to patrol those islands once in a while. Get a police drone for Pete sakes.
      • wow (18/05/2017, 12:09) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        It is now being reported that he had a wound to the back of his head.
    • Native Indian (20/05/2017, 08:55) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Who did the land in the BVI originally belong to?
      • Taino (22/05/2017, 15:56) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
        The tainos or caribs and arawaks who columbus met here. But columbus and his men killed every last one.
        It then fell to those who were brought here and have worked the land since columbus.
  • Just saying (18/05/2017, 09:44) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    He will be missed RIP
  • just asking... (18/05/2017, 14:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Who killed this yute?
    • Holy Grail (23/05/2017, 15:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      The new holy grail is to own an island, so they will kick you off or kill you off.
  • friend (18/05/2017, 15:00) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    RIP Jamesy
  • Wallnut (18/05/2017, 17:22) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    I know this brother for years and he know the water like a fish,when I heard they say he drown I am in disbelief because he could swim,this sound fishy,I know he had issues over on that island, the authorities need to look in to this brother death,
    • Yes @100% (18/05/2017, 19:08) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      @Wallnut, so true. He knew how to handle the water. I fail to believe that he just drown like that. Yes, he had issues over there and the law need to investergate. Please police, don't let this go just like that. I might be wrong but, I fail to believe he just drown. Poor dude, R.I.P.
      • Mike (22/05/2017, 18:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        I knew James, I use to work and live in Cooper Isalnd Beach Club, I will miss him, he was a kind men with open heart. This men can drink whole day but he knew what he was doing and he was great swimmer, he use to go early morning for fishing.
        I am very shocked that he got drowned believe me it's hard to believe a person like James who was very strong, good physics. but yeah for sure if you hit your head it's hard to survive even if you are in land. I pray for his soul rest in peace.
  • only saying (18/05/2017, 20:51) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yes he use to drink and, only saying, if foul play was involved, they figure people would say and think he was drunk and drown. This guy was a good swimmer. It is hard to believe he drown.Something is very fishy about this.
  • VIlander (18/05/2017, 22:28) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    JAMES!!! I will miss u brother...god bless the family and his mother...
    I don't know if it's foul play or not because the people who drown are people who can swim and he could swim like a fish.
    I will always remember our friendship...real people
  • not jumping but (18/05/2017, 23:09) Like (3) Dislike (6) Reply
    Come now. Didn't they say a tourist fell over the dock somewhere over there and hit her head too while her so call mate called for help. Wonder if this yute tried to help her from drowning and maybe he knew a lil too much about some foul play.
  • sean (19/05/2017, 06:12) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Rip.my brother
  • Judgement 2 (19/05/2017, 07:10) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    This one hurts , God knows. If it's foul play we won't know especially if his death is associated with deeper things. Whatever it is God go will stand in his trial for this youth. Maybe a drinker but God sees the heart and this youth would give you the clothes off his back. May God bless and keep his family. Judgement will be serve Jamsie
  • iknow whoiam (19/05/2017, 07:45) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    let's not rule out anything at this time, I am a virgin islander living abroad but keep up with the happening's back there James and I go back a long long way,iam also a captain sailed the BVI's waters for many years and spent a lot of time with James and his father good people my condolences to his entire family may he rest easy remembered death is an exit from this life to another.
  • kkk (19/05/2017, 09:44) Like (5) Dislike (19) Reply
    What colour are those witnesses?
    • Winston (19/05/2017, 12:16) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
      Your comment is stupid.....and I am black !
      • kidding yourself (21/05/2017, 07:17) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
        Some of you blacks like to pretend that there is no racism. You must be living in a vacuum. Do you think whites are going to like you better if you bury your head in the sand?
  • foxy (19/05/2017, 09:48) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Vino always has the facts
  • Really (19/05/2017, 10:03) Like (18) Dislike (6) Reply
    The witnesses put together a good story, but something does not add up.It is said he was found floating, now they are saying they dive in to rescue him, how long was it before the dive in? Since they saw him fel from the boat, then they would see that his head made contact with the prop and should know that he was in grave danger and get to him right away. Had they done that he would survive. If that's their story then it means that they did not go in after him right away. So he took in too much water in his lungs. They fished him out when his lifeless body surfaced. Talk that!!!
  • rip (19/05/2017, 10:05) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply

    RIP Jamesy. To everyone speculating, it doesn't matter how good you can swim, if you hit your head or are otherwise injured, then it is easy for you to drown regardless of how good you can swim. Sh*t happens. Let the coroner do his/her job.

  • Walker (19/05/2017, 10:38) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Losing Jamesy is tough. He was one of the kindest, most tender hearted people that I have ever known. Cooper will never be the same. My heart goes out to Miz Carol and the rest of the Leonard family.
  • Andrew Cox (19/05/2017, 10:49) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sincere condolences to the Leonard family from the Cox family be strong in these testing times
  • ------------------------ (19/05/2017, 11:38) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    more in the mota
  • Hmm (19/05/2017, 14:25) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
    Did anyone notice a discrepancy in the account?? The 'eyewitnesses' said they got to Jamesy before VISAR got there.
    They said they called VISAR but dived out for him before they came.
    However, VISAR said they recovered him floating off of Cooper Island...
    So did the witnesses lie about diving for him before VISAR came??
    What is really going on here. Makes no sense to me.

    If the witnesses went out for him and found him...why was he still floating in waters....?
  • Queen (19/05/2017, 15:18) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply

    RIP There was never a dull moment over there with you.. However, something doesn't add up he always mentioned about problems occurring with the people on the other side of the...

  • truth be told (22/05/2017, 11:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Cain struck Abel to the ground and killed him.

    When Cain realized what he'd done, he was more concerned that someone might have seen what he'd done than he was sorry for his brother's death. He looked around and sighed a breath of relief that no one was nearby.

    And then the Lord spoke, "Cain, where is your brother."

    Cain shrugged, "I dunno! Am I my brother's keeper?"

    God replied, "Cain, how could you be so cruel to your only brother. He has done nothing, but try his best for Me, for his parents... and for you."
  • Real Taino (22/05/2017, 16:13) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Rubbish. Our ancestors moved along. The entire New World is ours. Not because we don't inhabit an island or an area does not means its not ours. Enjoy your stay on our island. We are peaceful people.
    • Historian (22/05/2017, 22:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Well, real taino, you must be a ghost. The taints in these Islands didn't exist after the Europeans arrived.
  • Mike (22/05/2017, 18:09) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    RIP James, shocked to know that James died. I have worked in Cooper Isalnd for 3 years and I know James very well, he was a good swimmer, a good men with open heart. James could drink a lot but he know what he was doing. Imagine so small island it's hard not to know him he could swim like a hell even with lot of drinks. I pray for his soul rest in peace. Will miss you James..thanks for all your hospitality when I was there a great men with good heart...


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