Portsmouth fisherman dies in drowning incident

Portsmouth Harbour

A fisherman from the town of Portsmouth, Kenroy ‘Backhoe’ Alexis, is dead following a mishap at sea.

The incident occured at midmorning on Thursday, (Dec. 20, 2012).

Dominica News Online was able to obtain an exclusive interview with the last person to see the deceased alive, his colleague Albert Lawrence.

According to Lawrence, the two men had been anchored fishing about a 100 feet off-shore from the Cabrits. Both men had small fishing boats, but at first were sharing Lawrence’s boat while fishing.

Lawrence also stated that Alexis was known to get epileptic fits, and seemed a bit under the weather, but claimed that he was okay.

He said they eventually spotted two yachts coming into the harbour and as certified tour guides, they decide to split up in their separate boats and approach the yachts to offer their services.

Lawrence told DNO that he was leading in his vessel, while the deceased Kenroy Alexis followed in the other boat.

“While going out, I was not that far in front of him, with the sound of my engine and the wind blowing, I thought he was coming.When I looked backed, his boat was like 200 feet feet away from me, but I wasn’t seeing him in the boat at all! So that troubled my mind. I said “****!’ I sped my engine and turned around. When I came alongside the other boat, when I looked down, I saw his body, his shirt, sinking. I just bawled out, but there was nobody around who could help at the time,” the distraught Portsmouth resident stated.

He speculated that Alexis must have experienced an epileptic seizure soon after they separated.

Lawrence said that due to physical limitations, there was not much he could do to help his friend. According to him, he dropped his anchor and quickly started calling other boatmen and divers including  Cobra of Cobra Tours. Help quickly arrived, and diver Fabien Honore’ eventually found the body of Alexis submerged about 80 feet deep in the water.

The body was transported to Portsmouth and then to the Portsmouth Hospital where Alexis was officially pronounced dead.

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  1. Todd Knight
    January 8, 2013

    Kenroy…I will miss you! You are my brother…and you will be forever in my thoughts.

    My prayers go out to the Alexis family. I was a Peace Corp volunteer from 1993-1995 in Portsmouth…I probably would have quit and gone home if it wasn’t for Kenroy and his family.

    Todd Knight

    December 25, 2012

    This is tragic, my heartfelt condolences go to the Alexis family and may his soul rest in everlasting peace

  3. Petrolina Samai Carb
    December 24, 2012

    My heart hurts so much, to learn of Kenroy’s death. I am his Godmother. I was home in October, he would bring me coconut water every day. I loved my God child so much, and i know he loved me to. R>I>P> Kenroy. To the Alexis family. I pray the God of all comfort, will comfort u all during this time. Ur Godmother on St.maarten Samai

  4. Anthea O.
    December 24, 2012

    To the Alexis family, my condolences to you all.
    Hold on to the unchanging hands of God. He will see you all through. So sad to here.

  5. zicack
    December 24, 2012

    roy may you have the courage that you need. and fabi you did a great job.and for those people that saying he should not be allowed to go on the boat if he is not well, he is a big man and not a child.he was always warned, so blame no one. the friend that was with him, do you think if he knew this was going to happen he would have left him? no. it was his time and only God decides when.

  6. bee
    December 23, 2012

    My heartfelt sympathy to the family. May he rest in peace.

  7. rescue 911
    December 22, 2012

    i still dont understand how he get in the water .drown and was still next to the boat.(if the boat was in action)

  8. Dom
    December 22, 2012

    Oh geez sacrifices for the man. People just dying what is going on.

  9. krystal
    December 22, 2012

    So sad :( R I P friend….

  10. The truth
    December 22, 2012

    This is an unfortunate incident again man. Condolences to the family involved.

    I will reiterate, health and safety in Dominica guys. People will slate me here all they like but the most basic, minor life jackets for fishermen and any others at sea could be a problem solver. In situations like this anyway.

  11. Kendra Alexis
    December 22, 2012

    I had the pleasure of meeting Kenroy in the summer of 1986.
    He was an amazing swimmer.I was not. He spent everyday that summer teaching me how to swim. He was so full of life. After hours of being in the water he would emerge from the salty water a shade darker bloodshot eyes and a megawatt smile.
    I’m heartbroken his life ended where he was the happiest.
    Thanks for the memories.Rest in Peace.

    • Justice and Truth
      December 24, 2012

      It appears he loved the water. It always saddens me whenever I hear/read that a fellow Dominican dies in especially an accident of whatever nature. I visualize that they are gone and will never return. No more earthly smiles and laughter, etc., and how they will be missed. This is the hard part of it. However, a loving God knows best. May his soul rest in peace. Amen!

  12. top shatta
    December 22, 2012

    If it was a tourist that drown the whole tourist board and all government personal will come on board to give their cry,but is one of our own none is saying anything to the family as we read for the other visitors that drown.May his soul rest in peace.Hold on Roy his parent and other family.

  13. Justice and Truth
    December 22, 2012

    My heartfelt sympathy to his family and also the friend who was with him. It is a traumatic experience. The passing of a loved one is felt even more at Christmastime. Be strengthened with God’s consolation. May his soul rest in peace. Amen!

  14. Anonymous
    December 21, 2012

    What an awful situation to be faced with -I feel that all fisherman should be a able to swim -basic 101.

  15. /////////..
    December 21, 2012

    To Roy, Sylvia and the rest of the family my condolences. May his soul rest in eternal peace. A great friend he was to me.

  16. Dominican Queen
    December 21, 2012

    My deepest condolences to the Alexis family, especially his mother. May you continue to find strength from above.

    It’s really sad to hear of Kenroy’s death. May his soul rest in peace

  17. December 21, 2012

    With a tearfull eyes and a broken heart, i say rest in God,s peace my brother!To the entire Alexis fam, my deepest condolences to you all. To Boyboy we all know you would have done something if you could have.It’s not easy but be strong! Mrs& Mr Alexis God truly will not give us more than we could bear so keep praying and dont cease to give God thanks even in times like these, and remember nothing last forever except the grace of GOD.

  18. Salty Salsa
    December 21, 2012

    Another death at sea!!!. Lord have mercy the Mermaid demons are at it!. God help us please.

  19. anonymous2
    December 21, 2012

    He should have been on anti-epileptic medication otherwise daily living can be dangerous.

  20. Baby girl
    December 21, 2012

    Sad sad sad…i feel so sad for the family of that man….i just hope they find comfort. :cry: :(

  21. Anonymous
    December 21, 2012

    so sad bro

  22. waka23
    December 21, 2012

    tragic tragic tragic

  23. Abitrator
    December 21, 2012

    We had alot of fun times 2gether hanging out in St.Maarten, chasing yatch in Portsmouth and doing Indian River tours. There was never a dull moment. I can go on and on and on. It’s so sad to wake up to such news. May your soul rest in peace and my deepest condolences to your family and the the rest of your friends.

  24. Abitrator
    December 21, 2012

    We had alot of fun times 2gether hanging out in St.Maarten, chasing yatch in Portsmouth and doing Indian River tours. There was never a dull moment. I can go on and on and on. It’s so sad to wake to such news. May your soul rest in peace and my deepest condolences to family and the the rest of your friends.

  25. Formula 1
    December 21, 2012

    The sea again.

  26. con
    December 21, 2012

    RIP cuzzo :(

  27. Domerican/Possie
    December 21, 2012

    Alas God’s comfort to the Alexis family. Ma Crafford, Roy and the rest of Backhoe’s relatives my heart goes out to you. Peace, much peace.

  28. Concern citizen
    December 21, 2012

    we as Dominican need to do better. as a close friend of the decease my heart goes out to yr family. R.I.P my friend.

  29. Straight Talk
    December 21, 2012

    Very unfortunate. I can imagine how Albert must be feeling.

  30. Devine Hope
    December 21, 2012

    Rest in Peace…….

  31. ella
    December 21, 2012


  32. Me
    December 21, 2012

    There appears to be be an increase in water related deaths in Dominica in resent times. Why?

    • No Probs
      December 21, 2012

      What does that have to do with paying your respects?

    • TWAIN
      December 21, 2012

      Do you think that something is wrong with the water. would you say that the water now cursed :lol:

    • possie girl
      December 24, 2012

      now is no time to fight at each other’s comment on dno. now is time to comfort the family.roy, roma and the rest of the family hold strong.

  33. htown
    December 21, 2012

    Awwwww so sad.r.i.p

  34. Rastar-Marn
    December 21, 2012

    Maybe this is an opportune time to initiate some safety measures and assistance like the provision of life vests for these brothers, especially ones whom are known to have medical conditions as the brother who just passed on to the next stage,,,

    • waka23
      December 21, 2012

      i share the same sentiment with you, its time they get organize and make a priority safety

    • Justice and Truth
      December 22, 2012

      You are correct. If he had a medical condition he should probably not venture in the sea and to be left alone. They should be warned about that.

  35. Frank Talker
    December 21, 2012

    This is not a joke; I am serious. Can someone provide some insight into the sudden increase in deaths at sea we have been experiencing in Dominica? It’s now almost a daily news item! First it was a student tourist at Mero, then a tourist at Batibou, then a tourist snokeller, then a tourist on a yacht and now a fisherman/tour guide from Portsmouth. They all have two things in common – they died at sea and they were stakeholders in our important but fragile tourism industry. Somebody has to do some damage control or the media will turn this thing into a monster. These incidents also speak volume for our lack of life savers and sea rescue culture. With Dominica positioning itself as a prime destination for divers and yachting, we need to simultaneously position our resources to save lives at sea. We can actually add value to the destination if we invest in sea rescue. One death at sea is already too much pressure on our fragility, let alone four deaths. Do something, DDA. Do something, DHTA. Do something, Ian.

    • true dominican
      December 21, 2012

      do you think you are helping?

    • Huh!!
      December 21, 2012

      I am guessing the only place a person is allowed to die is on a hospital bed!!

    • Gone with the wind
      December 21, 2012

      lets ask the sea whats going on.

    • Justice and Truth
      December 22, 2012

      Pray to God and He will reveal it to you. We comprehend that accidents do happen and will always happen. Some people must be careful. This man had a medical condition. Should he be all alone in a boat and fishing?

  36. December 21, 2012

    Wow. This is so sad.

  37. rescue 911
    December 21, 2012

    our hearts are broken .may you rest in perfect peace .my sympathy to the family.

  38. December 21, 2012

    I don’t understand why he was allowed into a boat, alone on the waters, when he is a person who suffers from epilepsy. What a terrible shock for his friend.

    May his family, close relatives, and friends wait on the Lord, for comfort and rest, by their faith; and may his soul sleep in peace, until the resurrection.

    • grieving
      December 22, 2012

      Do you really think that he needed to be allowed on a boat for him to be on one? And do you think that if his family and friends could control it he would even be on a boat?

      • December 22, 2012

        You fool, I am saying that there should be health standards in place to protect people like this man–one way or the other.

        Would you be allowed a Driver’s Licence if you did not have 20/20 vision? How is a person allowed to go on water in a boat by himself, when he is an epileptic and cannot swim?

  39. Sadness
    December 21, 2012

    So tragic. Hope that the family finds courage during this difficult time.

  40. trute
    December 21, 2012

    So sad. Now do you agree that there is something going on with our waters?

  41. Voicemail
    December 21, 2012

    This is so sad! May his soul rest in Eternal Peace!

    December 21, 2012

    So sad to learn of this news. May his family find courage and peace.

  43. Peter
    December 21, 2012

    Epic Fishermen, one epileptic and one physical limitations does not enable him to enter the water (a.k.a, – he cant swim) ….. none the less, sad situation, RIP brother man

  44. A FRIEND
    December 21, 2012

    To the Alexis Family, Mr. and Mrs. Crafton, Roy and family and the rest of the entire family, Patricia at Purple Turtle Beach Club and Big Mama’s at Big Mama’s Restaurant in Portsmouth, Barkoe was a friend, a cool guy. I remember him in St. Martin and also in Possie, very friendly guy and like his waters too.

    Sorry that he died such a tragic death by drowning while trying a earn a decent living fishing and chasing yacht to make his daily bread. May his soul Rest In Peace (RIP.

    :( :cry:

  45. love
    December 21, 2012

    :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: sorry for the family RIP :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

    December 21, 2012

    May soul rest in Perfect peace Backhoe.

    To the family of Kenroy ‘Backhoe’ Alexis, I know what you are going through now, You just have to continue asking our Heavenly father for strength EVERY DAY becasue it is not going to be easy.

    Our prayers are with you all.

  47. (.) (.)
    December 21, 2012

    May his soul rest in peace and the good Lord be with his family

  48. nitaraspawn
    December 21, 2012


  49. Carlyn
    December 21, 2012

    May God’s presence be with his family.

  50. Portsmouth
    December 21, 2012

    I’m really sorry to hear about Backo. For many of us who knew him, we knew that someday his fits may be fatal. Sadly it was. He got it often and almost drowned once. This is also a warning to fishermen, always wear your life jackets. That would have most likely saved him.

  51. Zicack Girl
    December 21, 2012

    May his family find peace and comfort in his memory especially during this holiday season.

  52. concerned
    December 21, 2012

    How sad . may his soul RIP. Courage to Albert.

  53. Morihei Ueshiba
    December 21, 2012

    Wow… Dominicans wicked. Foreigners die u get over 50 comments a Dominican dies not one, well u know what Kenroy ‘Backhoe’ Alexis RIP. :-P

  54. Anonymous
    December 21, 2012

    i feel like crying

    • fedup
      December 21, 2012

      speak the truth u dont feel like crying not at all ………………………………….lol but on another note RIP :(

  55. Peeping Tom
    December 21, 2012

    Sad. Real sad, man.

    Thanks for the story, DNO.

  56. ;
    December 21, 2012


  57. STEVE
    December 21, 2012


  58. STEVE
    December 21, 2012


  59. FED-UP
    December 21, 2012

    After all …another sea casualty…As I said not just tourist die on our island…

    May your soul R.I.P Sir…Condolences to the family.

  60. Family
    December 21, 2012

    So sad this news coming at the end of the year. May you rest in peace cuz.

  61. December 21, 2012

    :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

  62. trolol
    December 21, 2012

    Damn 80 ft deep.. RIP

  63. sayodityodit
    December 21, 2012

    Oh so sad. And DNO I think you made a “booboo” Was it really Thursday January 20, 2012? Just checking

    • sayodityodit
      December 21, 2012

      I guess u will have to edit my previous comment DNO to just Oh so sad!

  64. December 21, 2012

    Opps. Sorry, MAy god have mercy on his soul.

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