– Recount horrible ordeal after drifting in Suriname waters
A Guyanese couple who spent three days and nights drifting at sea after their boat engine developed problems just off Nickerie, in Suriname, are alive and well, thanks to fishermen in the Albion area.
Michael Stanley, 49 and his wife, Anjanie Ramcoomar, 47, were reported missing after they failed to return home Monday.
On Thursday, they were spotted by the fishermen and brought to shore, just when they thought they would die at sea.
The couple had left home around 06:00 h Monday to go on one of Stanley’s regular fishing trips in Suriname’s water. The couple had moved to Suriname about five years ago. Ramcoomar said on that day she chose to accompany her husband at sea just to see how he works but she could never have foreseen the ordeal she eventually endured.
Speaking to Kaieteur News via telephone from Suriname, Ramcoomar said that shortly after they reached the area where they were going to fish, their 15-horsepower Yahama engine developed problems. As the boat started to drift out further to sea, her husband tried to fix the problem but was unsuccessful.
“We see two boat and we flag them but them like them nah see we,” Ramcoomar related. She said that they later noticed a helicopter hovering ahead, and they also tried to attract its attention, but to no avail.
“We drift and we drift. We end up in green water and then we end up in blue water,” she stated. Ramcoomar said that they first thought they were going to die when a strong gust of wind almost toppled their small fishing boat.
As they drifted further, she said that the boat started to go around in a circle, and they grew afraid, because they didn’t know what was happening.
“We start fo beg God fo help. We pray and we pray and we pray,” she recounted. Ramcoomar said that by the evening of that first day they had nothing to eat; they just had some water in a bottle.
While they were at sea, she said it rained continuously, and so they decided to spread out a piece plastic they had so they could get some rainwater to drink. They put the water in bucket they had in the boat.
She said that as the boat drifted in different directions, they had no idea where they were. “All we see was water and the sky,” she stated. Ramcoomar said that at one point they saw two buoys in the river and they believed that they were in waters off the Corentyne.
She said at different points they saw boats but their efforts to get their attention proved futile. She said that at one point her husband took off his shirt and burned it when they saw three boats some distance off. When that did not work, she said he took off his pants and burnt it also. But that did not work either.
As they drifted further, Ramcoomar said that they thought they were going to die after they started see what looked like sharks in the clear water. Ramcoomar said that her husband told her to lie flat in the water and he did the same.
“If dem shark did only knock the boat, we two woulda dead,” she said. At one point, Ramcoomar said that her husband began to hallucinate, taking his hands and hitting his head and crying out. However, she pleaded with him to stop and for the two of them to pray.
“We seh we gun dead hay and we wouldn’t see back our pickney (children) and family,” Ramcoomar said.
On Thursday morning, she said that they spotted some boats and waved to them. This time they were lucky. She said the men were out fishing and came to their rescue.
She said that since they were out fishing, the men asked if they would wait until 15:00 hrs when they would finish their catch and take them in. Ramcoomar said that she and her husband agreed almost immediately and waited.
The men were fishermen from Albion on the Corentyne Coast. From the newspapers they recognized that indeed this was the couple reported missing. Ramcoomar and her husband were taken to the Albion Police Station where they requested help to get back home.
However, she said the Police at the Albion station said they had no vehicle to offer them a ride to Springlands for them to get a boat back to Suriname. As a result, she said the fishermen explained their plight to neighbours, who gave them money for transportation to Springlands.
From there, she said, once they captain of one of the speedboats working the back-tract route learnt of their plight he offered to take them over to Nickerie for free.
From there, they were able to contact their relatives who came to get them.
Ramcoomar said that she and her husband are grateful for the help that was provided by all those who made efforts to rescue them. She said in the community where she lives in Nickerie, neighbours came together to buy fuel for the boats so men could go looking for them.
Ramcoomar said that she is happy to be alive and reunited with her family.
Guyana heads to Berbice as Hopetown expected to hold sway with soiree
Thousands of Guyanese from across the country are expected to throng the West Berbice village of Hope Town for the Traditional annual Soiree which is by far the biggest event of its kind held in Guyana.
A number of Soirees are held in various parts of the country, but the Hopetown engagement is by far the biggest and arguably one of the largest gatherings of people for any engagement in Guyana.
According to the organisers of the event, the Soiree started a very long time ago. It started with the newly freed slaves and became an annual event.
It is still being held in many villages bought by the Africans after they gained their freedom.
The event is held the night before Freedom Day. It starts just before midnight and will continue until dawn the next day. At the various venues a number of cultural activities and stage show are held including African pageantry, African drumming, folk songs and dancing, skits, poems, story telling among other activities.
Folk and ring games are also part of the night’s activities. Saal pass, hop scotch, Bun House, Drop it Peter boy, and Hide and Seek will be there on display. The usual African foods will be in abundance.
Cook Up; Metem Gee with fried fish or and salt fish with other delicacies, Quenches, Conkey and Cassava Pone, Calaloo dove down with coconut milk and Fu Fu will all be there for sale and for free distribution.
Hopetown is known for its traditional African drumming and the drummers will once again be leading the celebrations along with the popular Shack, Shack and Flute.
A popular dance during the celebrations is the Square Dance, where four persons will form themselves into groups and dance around to the beat of the African Drums
and the flute. Activities are slated for the Falcon Crest, the Hopetown community centre, the former Hopetown Community High School and about six other venues in the village.
According to the organisers most of the activities are free of charge, and whatever funds are realized will be used by the groups to help in the enhancement of the African culture in the area. Some will be given to schools, to the elderly and to charitable organizations.
The popular Yoruba Singers String band is as usual a part of the atmosphere.
A number of dignitaries are expected to grace the community to participate and deliver speeches..
Hopetown village was among the first set of villages bought by the Africans just after the abolition of slavery in 1834.
They named the village Hopetown in pursuit of hope for a better life after slavery.
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