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Jamaican drowns, brother missing after jumping off ‘Jaws’ bridge in US


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Jamaican man, Tavaris Bulgin, of Palmers Cross, Clarendon, drowned and his brother, Tavaughn, is missing and feared dead after a late-night jump off a popular bridge in Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, United States on Sunday.

According to the Vineyard Gazette, an extensive recovery effort for a second man was halted on Monday after what it said was a late-night group jump off the big bridge on Beach Road in Oak Bluffs.

Oak Bluffs Police Chief Jonathan Searle said nine people jumped off the bridge late Sunday night.

“Two of the nine got into trouble swimming. The two were in their 20s,” Searle said. He told MV Times that since a death occurred, the investigation will be taken over by the district attorney’s office.

Talkupditingsdem News understands that Tavaris and Tavaughn are the sons of the Reverend Keith Bulgin, the pastor of the Palmers Cross New Testament Church of God. 

Edgartown Police Lieutenant Chris Dolby said police received a call around 11pm Sunday, stating that a group of swimmers had jumped off the bridge and alerting police to “swimmers in distress”.

“Two did not remain with the group and that group called in that they have two missing friends,” he said.

Tavaris was found at 6:20 Monday morning, Searle said. The chief said the search radius includes all of Sengekontacket Pond and stretched several miles offshore.

“It’s extremely large,” he said.

Reports are that within minutes of the call, Oak Bluffs and Edgartown rescue boats were searching the area and soon after helicopters, boats and divers conducted multiple searches inside and outside of Sengekontacket Pond. Marker buoys were dropped and followed and their paths and locations searched multiple times, according to Oak Bluffs Fire Chief Nelson Wirtz.

Shoreline searches were conducted on foot and by UTV along all the northern-facing shoreline from the small bridge to a bend in the road as well as the pond side.

About 11am, responders announced that they were “calling off the main body of the search”, Chief Wirtz said.

A Coast Guard cutter will remain offshore until later Monday afternoon or evening.

“At this point, because of tide changes, the victim could be on either side” of the bridge, Chief Wirtz said.

“It is a recovery, so we take things slowly and methodically … hopefully we can give the family some closure soon,” he said. “It’s really is up to the visibility and tides.”

The bridge, popularly known as the Jaws bridge because of its role in the movie filmed on the island, is a popular spot for jumping despite signs telling people not to jump.

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