On Friday, January 13, the big-game fishing community lost one of its favorite haunts, the Compleat Angler bar and hotel. Over the weekend, investigators found the charred remains of human body, believed to be owner Julian Brown, according to the Freeport News.
Brown, a popular figure among traveling fishermen, was last seen by hotel guest Nicholas Rademaker, of Nassau. Rademaker said Brown woke him up and instructed him to get out of the hotel, which was quickly engulfed in flames. Rademaker escaped the building through the back door of his room and climbed off the balcony.
The Compleat Angler was constructed in 1935 in Alice Town, Bimini, by Capt. Harcourt Brown. The establishment quickly rose to prominence as many fishing heavyweights spent time fishing the waters surrounding Bimini. Ernest Hemingway was among the most prominent figures to frequent the hotel. A fishing museum in the Compleat Angler displayed many photos of Hemingway and other priceless memorabilia. All of it was lost in the fire. The cause of the fire is not known at this point.
The fire at the Compleat Angler is the second disaster to hit Bimini in just over a month. Eleven Bimini residents perished in Chalks flight 101 that went down in Miami.
Look for a complete story on the tragedy in the March issue of Marlin, and keep checking www.marlinmag.com for up-to-date news.
- Charlie Levine