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Husband gets to meet last person to see wife alive, after nearly a year

Husband gets to meet last person to see wife alive, after nearly a year

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Just hours before the first anniversary of when the late Josel Small was swept out to sea by the raging Buccament river, her husband Ricky Small got to meet the last person to see her alive.

Following the national memorial service at the St Mary’s Anglican Church at Pembroke for victims of the 2013 December floods, Small, {{more}} accompanied by his sister-in-law Diane Browne,mother-in-law and young son Rhianj, went to the broken embankment outside the Buccament Bay Resort resort, where Josel, a former employee, was last seen.

As the group approached what has become a memorial site, employees of the resort had already gathered to remember their missing co-worker.

One of the staff members there was Sam Embeti, who, with Josel, was washed into the Buccament Bay sea shortly after 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

The two men were introduced to each other by Josel’s sister, and admitted that despite hearing about each other over the past year, that was the first time that they were meeting in person.

Embeti used the opportunity to offer his condolences to Small, who was visibly emotional.

The men chatted briefly about what transpired the fateful night, as Embeti relived the ordeal “as if it just happened yesterday.”

In the January 3, 2014 edition of SEARCHLIGHT, Embeti said that he, along with Josel and another employee left work around 9:30 that night, when the resort had already begun to flood.

He told SEARCHLIGHT that they had already made their way out of the resort and were trying to cross a stream of water.

“Josel was in front of me and she was holding on to me because she was so scared,” he said. “Josel took one or two steps and when she take the second step, she slipped and how she was holding on to me I slipped too,” the article recorded Embeti saying.

He also stated that the two of them were carried out by waves, but he managed to hold on to a boat rope and pull himself to shore, while Josel was swept out further.

Embeti recalls seeing Josel’s white coat for the last time before she disappeared.

A third co-worker was rescued by a villager who was in the area at the time.

After their chat, Embeti returned to the resort, while Small and his family lit candles and placed then in the spot where Josel was pulled out by the waters.

While Small, holding the couple’s 23-month-old son, looked out to sea with tear-filled eyes, his mother-in-law said a prayer and sang tearful hymns in memory of her daughter.

Although Small indicated that he is still too shaken up to give an official interview, he could be heard saying “Josel never liked the sea.”

She is one of three persons missing and feared dead during the floods, while nine other persons were confirmed killed during the floods.(JJ)

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