Her baby girl was left orphaned after her single father and ex-Marine, 33, drowned while boating in the Caribbean, less than a year after her mother died of cancer.
- Police found Robert Safford, 33, floating off the coast of Great Harbor in Jost Van Dyke with head injuries on March 22: his boat was close
- Safford leaves behind an orphaned daughter, Isabella: his wife, Rachel, dies of cancer in 2022
- Safford, from North Carolina, had served as a Marine and former teammates complimented his spirit, saying he “never gave up” and was “one of the best.”
A former Navy and single father died in a boating accident in the British Virgin Islands, leaving his daughter an orphan.
The Royal Virgin Island Police identified Robert Safford, 33, on Wednesday.
Police found him last week, March 22, floating off the coast of Great Harbor on Jost Van Dyke, one of the islands that make up the archipelago.
Tragically, Safford’s late wife Rachel died of cancer on September 22, at the age of 33, which means that the couple’s little girl, Isabella, is now an orphan.
Safford sustained head injuries and his boat was found nearby. The police ruled out an accident, and said his death was an accident.
RVIPF reported at the time: “One male passenger was found unresponsive in the water with a head injury while the boat he was in was greeted as it circled the area.”
After attempts to save him, he was pronounced dead.
Robert Safford, 33, is pictured with his wife, Rachel. She died of cancer last year: killed in a boating accident on March 22nd. They left behind a little daughter
Safford is pictured with his daughter, Isabella, who is now being cared for by her grandparents
Safford’s wife, Rachel, died last year of cancer.
“Rob was a single dad but not by choice,” said his friend Joey Potricho, a former Marine who now hosts a podcast speaking to veterans about mental health.
“Rachel, Rob’s wife, and Bella’s mother, loses her battle with cancer in 2022”.
At the launch of the GoFundMe appeal, Poterico wrote, “We look forward to getting as much support as possible to help Bella’s grandparents and her family.”
“Raising a child is not easy; we hope we can ease the financial burden during this difficult time.
Martial arts instructor Chuck Jack trained with Safford, and said, “One of the best things is going through SSBC (Scout Sniper Ballistics Computers) with me.”
Safford was seen during his time in the Marine Corps
Originally from North Carolina, Safford is believed to have served as a sniper in the Marine Corps and completed a Scout Sniper Ballistics Computer course.
Safford and his daughter, Isabella
Safford is seen during his travels, in a photo posted to Facebook
Safford has been photographed with a camel during his travels in the Middle East
Juan Perez, another former fellow Marine, said Safford was “one of the fiercest men I’ve ever met.”
“You always gave it your all, you loved being a Marine more than anything, you deserved more and you went for more,” he wrote on Facebook.
I am sorry that your life was cut short by a tragic accident.
“However, I know that you have lived more in 33 years than most of us live in a lifetime.”