Divers search for 2 men in Navet dam
By STACY MOORE Monday, March 4 2013
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Even as the search continued yesterday for two men who are feared drowned the Navet Reservoir, Tabaquite, south Trinidad comes a report of a man dying after diving into Caura River, in north Trinidad.
Adrian James is reported to have been attempting to swim across Pool 1 of the Caura River yesterday when the currents pulled him under. He was rescued by other bathers who attempted to resuscitate him on the riverbank while waiting for an ambulance. It has been said relatives placed James, of Petit Valley, in a maxi taxi since they found the ambulance was taking too long.
Paramedics met them on their way to hospital and James was transferred to the ambulance and taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope but he was pronounced dead.
Meanwhile, the search for Anthony Warrick, 55, and Basdeo Ramlal, 52, resumes today at the Navet Reservoir.
Up until 5 pm yesterday, Coast Guard officials, along with privately hired divers of the Water and Sewage Authority (WASA), searched the dam but there were no signs of the men.
The two men were among 13 people who were part of a fishing expedition aboard a single-engine boat, who went in the dam shortly before midday on Saturday.
In a media release yesterday, WASA Head of Corporate Communications, Ellen Lewis, stated the boat is usually used by authorised personnel to conduct depth samples and for routine maintenance of the dam. No such exercise was being carried out at the time of the incident. Also, the boat has a capacity to carry four to six adults and was therefore overloaded when it overturned.
Three women who were aboard the vessel and were rushed to the San Fernando General Hospital, however one has since been released while two others remain warded in stable condition. The Navet Reservoir according to the WASA release, has a depth of 44 feet and storage capacity of 4.2 billion gallons of water.
When Newsday visited the entrance to the dam yesterday, a barricade was placed at the entrance and WASA security officers stood guard. Nearby at Ramlal’s home, relatives were in a state of shock and had since closed the family’s business, a bar located in close proximity to their house.
Ramlal was the second of 13 children. He was also the father of one.
Speaking to Newsday, Ramlal’s sister, who wished not to be named, said she last spoke to her brother on Saturday morning.
“I could not believe it when I got a phone call a short while after that the boat my brother was in had overturned and he and his friend Anthony were missing. I am still in shock because I just spoke to him,” she said. She said her brother, a retired WASA estate constable, often went on expeditions at the dam with family and friends. “I was told that the boat overturned in the water and everyone fell out. But my brother and Anthony were the ones that did not make it to safety,” she related. “My brother loved these trips with family and friends. I can’t believe he is gone. But what I want most is closure and hope that we find his (Ramlal) and Anthony’s bodies so we can bury them and ease our minds. We are not going to give up and will continue to search for them.”
Ramlal was also the treasurer of the Tabaquite Vegetable Farmers’ Association. Speaking to Newsday, WASA corporate communications manager, Ellen Lewis said a search party comprising Coast Guard divers, private divers hired by the utility and Fore Services personnel had returned to the sprawling site at about 8 am yesterday. She said as of 4.30 pm, the men were not located by the dive teams.“We are just having faith that they will be found,” she said.
In its statement, WASA assured that the incident does not compromise the safety of water to consumers, since the Navet Reservoir stories raw water that has not undergone rigid processes, based on World Health Organisation standards. Brasso police officers are continuing investigations.