Two more Guyanese working abroad are believed to have perished, this time reportedly by drowning, in neighbouring Suriname.
Kevon Garrett, 19, and Mark Griffith, 22, both of Haslington, East Coast Demerara, were working on a fishing boat when tragedy struck last Saturday.
At the time the two friends were working on a fishing boat when they met their demise. Their bodies have not yet been recovered.
They had last spoken to both of their mothers on Mother’s Day and their deaths have sent shockwaves throughout their home village.
Reports reaching both families stated that Garrett, who was on his first outing in the Dutch-speaking country, fell off the vessel and was encountering difficulties in the rocky waters of the Atlantic Ocean when his friend Mark Griffith tried to save him.
They went down before they could receive any assistance from the other workers on the boat.
News of their deaths was relayed to their family members on Saturday afternoon and Garrett’s mother, Sharon, has since traveled to Suriname to first obtain details of the tragedy and to recover her son’s body if possible.
Garrett had left his home at Haslington to go to Suriname last November in search of employment.
Doris Haley, Kevon Garrett’s grandmother, with whom he lived before leaving for Suriname, told this newspaper that around 16:00 hours on Saturday, the family received a telephone call, informing them that he was feared drowned.
“He fall over and another boy go to save him and both of them drowned,” Haley said.
Garrett had no prior experience of working on a fishing boat and could not swim.
But according to his grandmother, like all other young men out of work, he had left to join his friend Griffith, seeking employment in the neighbouring republic.
“Around here he didn’t have a job as a young boy; everybody glad he go. He called on Mother’s Day,” she said.
Garrett was the elder of the two sons for his parents.
Over at his parents’ house, his father was reluctant to disclose any information he had received about his son’s plight while his mother, Karen Garrett, appeared to be in a state of shock.
Gladys Griffith, the other victim’s grandmother, got the same message on Saturday.
She said that at first his father who lived a street away received the news and sent for Griffith’s mother.
“She left and run go. When she coming back, I see a crowd of people coming behind she…and she said, ‘Mommy, mommy, no more Mark. Mark gone.’ That was all that I hear, nothing more,” the dead man’s grandmother told this newspaper.
She said that Griffith’s mother left for Suriname on Monday morning and has since made telephone contact with the family here, confirming the news.
“About twelve o’clock she phone and say to tell me that all that we hear is true but they can’t find the bodies as yet,” Gladys Griffith stated.
The family has not heard from the dead man’s mother since.
Griffith is no stranger to fishing in Suriname since he would ‘go and come regularly’, according to his grandmother.
He was last in Guyana during the Christmas season.
“Mother’s Day he called and he wished us happy Mother’s Day and said that he would be home soon,” his grandmother said.
Griffith was also the eldest child for his mother and according to his grandmother he had been assisting her to bring up his younger siblings.
This latest news of the drowning of the two Haslington men comes on the heels of the murder of two other Guyanese men who were working in Trinidad.
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