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Boy, 15, drowns while spear fishing

Boy, 15, drowns  while spear fishing


Parents tend to encourage their children to put down the video games and play outside, but if Cetar ‘Ming’ Francis could rewind the clock to last Saturday morning, she would encourage 15-year-old Giovanni ‘Jo’ Sutherland-Sam to remain indoors and engage in gaming.

Giovanni, a 15-year-old second form student of the Sandy Bay Secondary School, drowned in the waters off the Clare Valley Beach on Saturday morning. He lost his life in an area known as Robert’s Bay (between Clare Valley Beach and Questelles Beach), while doing what he loved best, spear fishing.

According to Francis, Giovanni was spending time at her home because of his relation to her nephews. He woke up on Saturday morning and said that he was bored.{{more}}

Francis said that Giovanni, who lived in Sandy Bay, would usually accompany her nephews to Clare Valley during school breaks and their favourite pastime was to go spear fishing.

“Their hobby is shooting fish and diving. They brought down their fins, diving glass, breather and fish gun from Sandy Bay and every day since Carnival Tuesday, they shooting fish,” explained Francis, who added that her 21-year-old daughter and 19-year-old son would usually go with the youngsters, but did not accompany them on Saturday.

She said that her daughter had errands to run, while her son said that he preferred to stay inside and play video games, including the latest craze Pokémon Go.

“Jo said that he was bored because they didn’t go out on Friday to catch fish. He said he can’t sit down watching TV and TV was boring. He said home was boring and they should go do to what they do best, shoot fish and dive,” said Francis.

So, at about 9 a.m., Giovanni and his cousins, Kareem and Kiante, went spear fishing. That would be the last time that the youngster, who would have celebrated his 16th birthday in October, would walk on dry land. He drowned about two hours later and sank in 90 feet of water. His body was retrieved by members of the SVG Coastguard.

“They went between Clare Valley and Questelles Beach; sometimes they would swim or use a boat. They always shoot fish every day, even when they in Sandy Bay,” said Francis, trying to hold back tears.

Giovanni is said to have dived too deep and drowned. Francis said that one of her nephews said that before he disappeared in the water Giovanni was bleeding through his nose.

“He said that he looked and saw Giovanni trying to come to the surface of the water really fast and then he saw him bleeding from his nose and mouth and then he sank and he never saw him again,” explained Francis.

She said that Kareem and Kiante swam to a nearby fishing boat and told its occupant what had happened and the word was passed on to persons on the beach at which time the Coastguard was summoned and Giovanni’s body retrieved from its watery grave.

“To see him like that, it hurt me deep inside and I haven’t eaten since,” said Francis who added, “he went down too deep; that’s what most of the coastguard guys said. I think he went down too far and came up too fast.”

An autopsy conducted on Monday showed that Giovanni died from drowning.

Francis said on Monday that Kareem and Kiante are taking Giovanni’s death very hard and are adamant on remaining indoors. She said that the duo told her that Giovanni was a better swimmer than they were and who loved to dive.(LC)