Rawacou seas claim LIME employee
Days after their sister perished in the waters off the Rawacou coast, members of the Deane family of Calder are still wondering why some people are so unkind to others.
On Wednesday, while recalling the horrific Easter Monday incident that claimed the life of LIME’s Customer Solutions Coordinator Daphne Deane-de Shong, Laverne Deane-Warrican and Janis Deane painstakingly fought back tears as they tried to set the record straight.
They told SEARCHLIGHT amidst their cries for help at the Rawacou Recreational Park, persons refused to give assistance; others saw them as a bother, while others hurled insults at them.
In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT at their mother’s Villa home, the sisters made it clear that contrary to what some people believe, Daphne, the 41-year-old mother of Thalia de Shong, 3, was not bathing in the Rawacou waters when she encountered difficulties.
She was simply trying to rescue her niece Summer Warrican, who was wading in the water when she was swept away by a tide even though she was near the shore.
The day started with the sisters and their children planning a picnic on the spur of the moment.
Laverne disclosed that the initial plan was to go to the Rawacou Pond, but when they got there it was too crowded.
The group relocated to another area of the beach where moments later, tragedy unfolded right before their eyes.
Fighting back tears, Laverne told SEARCHLIGHT that she and other members of the family were standing on the shore. Laverne was holding her baby in her arms. She recalled that her daughter, Summer Warrican, was nearby in the water when the tide started pulling her.
“She was right in the water there, wading in the water, and Daph went in to pull her and another wave came and pulled them and they started going out more and more, recounted Laverne.
“Meanwhile, Christo and Gregory ran into the water to help Daph, and Janice went in to get Summer, but they couldn’t because the waves were really taking her (Summer) fast,” said Laverne, noting that Harold Bullock of Calder played a great role in saving her loved ones, including Summer, when he ran and got his life jacket and dashed to the sea.
He was assisted by a police officer from Grenada who also encountered difficulties.
“We were just there. I had my daughter in my arms. I won’t put a one and a half year old child at risk,” said Laverne, as she strengthened the point that they were not bathing.
The Deanes are peeved for several reasons. One relates to their claim that Coast Guard officers were on the beach and although they were asked for help, they did not assist.
“Who tell all you fuh go over dey?,” Laverne recalled a man whom she identified as a Coast Guard officer, stating.
Laverne said the officer continued: “Who tell all you fuh go over dey? All yuh ain’t see the sign?”
“I said “Anybody have a rope?” I am begging, dingy, anything. They said ‘sorry miss we don’t have anything’ and they didn’t move,” said Laverne.
“I was there begging people for help and nobody moved,” Laverne lamented.
“They were very nonchalant,” the grieving woman sighed.
When contacted for a comment on the charge made against the Coast Guard officers, an official from the Coast Guard said cricketers from the Grenada Police Force were picnicking at Rawacou and may have been mistaken for local coast guard officers.
The officer stated that as soon as the local Coast Guard got the news about the difficulties, a vessel was dispatched to Rawacou but was asked to return after receiving news that the situation was under control.
The official said two Coast Guard officers on land were also summoned to Rawacou and as soon as they got there they went straight to the scene.
Meanwhile, Laverne is savoring the good times she shared with her sister and is prepared to give that love to little Thalia. She described Daphne as someone who enjoyed laughing. Daphne was also described as someone who was willing to make sacrifices for her relatives and friends.
Daphne Deane-de Shong was married to Trevor ‘Third World’ de Shong, a senior employee in the Customs and Excise Department.