Yachting pioneer and recipient of the Trinity Cross (Gold) Harold La Borde has died in Grenada.
In a brief interview yesterday, his son Pierre, who flew back to Grenada for his autopsy today, said his father is suspected to have accidentally slipped and fallen at the marina, hitting his head while vacationing on the island.
Pierre said they sailed up to Grenada in May and were going to sail back to Trinidad next week as part of a family ritual to spend time with friends there.
"It was like a second home and he was in good health. It was an accident and pending an autopsy...so it is tentative at this time. We believe he slipped and fell going down to the docks and hit his head and was unconscious," he said.
Pierre described his father as "an inspiration" to his fellow citizens and to foreigners who visited T&T.
"He was a great sailor and a great hero for T&T and he fulfilled his dream sailing around the world and he fulfilled what he set out to do."
La Borde, who would have turned 83 on Saturday, wrote three books about his world travels, including aboard the Humming Bird II which was used in his first around the world voyage and is still at the museum in downtown Port-of-Spain.
In a release sent yesterday, his niece, Marcia, said it was with a heavy heart and a profound sense of loss that his family shared his passing with T&T.
"Borne by the winds that filled the sails of successive boats named Humming Bird, the La Borde family circumnavigated the globe twice, making lifelong friends and literally flying our national flag around the world," she said.
The release added that La Borde was in the process of beginning preparation for an in-depth documentary of his life.
La Borde leaves to mourn his wife, Kwailan La Borde, sons Pierre and Andre La Borde, three grandchildren, his brothers Rudy and Hugh.
Marcia said funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.