JAMAICA – Double tragedy
Community in mourning after two friends drown
KINGSTON –– Tuesday, Dwight Brown came face to face with every parent’s greatest fear.
When he went in search of his 12-year-old son, Dwayne, and the boy’s 14-year-old friend Keico Mendez, he knew it was not to rescue them, but instead to recover their bodies.
The two close friends, both of Acacia Lane in St Thomas, went swimming at Lyssons Beach in the parish on Monday.
Residents said Dwayne got into difficulties after falling off a log. Keico attempted to help him, but also got into difficulties. The two drowned.
The tragedy occurred about 5 pm. Local fishermen found the bodies shortly. after 10 a.m. yesterday. Dwayne’s face was bashed in, while Keico bled from the eyes, they said.
“A work mi deh and dem call mi, and mi just dash off quick and brisk and reach a di beach. Mi ask di people dem weh him did deh when him drown and nobody naah answer mi. So mi just did haffi wait till this morning.
“Mi go back down a the beach well early, five o’clock, me and mi babymother, and mi start dive, then mi fisherman friend dem come in and join mi. Wi start search and wi find one and then the other,” a distraught Brown told the Jamaica Observer Tuesday.
Brown recalled that he had left Dwayne at home shortly after 1 pm Monday and told him that he would see him later in the day.
“Wi can’t manage, but wi a try. Wi just a try deal with it,” he lamented. “Dwayne was a nice little guy. Him love people, and people love him. Anywhere him go, people love him. Mi nuh sleep all now. Mi babymother naah cope well. Mi feel it; mi love mi likkle youth. Mi lose mi baby.”
Brown chided the marine police, arguing that they could have done more to assist with recovering the bodies.
“Dem come yesterday [Monday] but dem never do nothing at all. Dem come late. And dem come back this morning [Tuesday] with a boat out deh, and when dem come with the boat dem only come park up. All now a man nuh jump off, a we haffi do that fi wi self. But mi just glad seh mi find him. If mi never find him mi woulda end up over hospital, cause mi drop dung yesterday [Monday]. But mi seh mi haffi find him; so mi do that and the police dem just deal wid the rest,” he added.
The family of Keico, a student of Happy Grove High School, were inconsolable when the Observer visited Tuesday. His mother, who is eight months pregnant, wept bitterly.
“Right about now the family is down. They are very depressed, especially his mother, aunty, grandmother, and sister,” the boy’s stepfather, Craig Williams, said. “The last time I spoke to him we were talking about back-to-school and the career path he wanted to take. And he was telling me he wanted to become a farmer. And now this happen. We cannot deal with it, we are struggling.”
Williams described his stepson as a “very smart young man” who at at times found himself in trouble, but it was never enough to cause a fuss.
“He was a loving person. He was loved by everyone,” he said.
“Keico and Dwayne were very close, and it is very sad to know that both of them died the same day, same time.”
Williams, praised local fishermen for the role they played in recovering the bodies.
“One of the good things that come out of this is that they were found by the local fishermen. They were up late swimming in the high tides because they were determined to find them, because these two young men basically born in their hands. They loved them,” he said.