Families not giving up hope
by Lyf Compton
On Wednesday, nine members of the DaSouza family sat together on the veranda of their home located on a windy hill in Byera, a perch that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.
The seascape before them was familiar, yet different, as this time, two of their own were out there in the big ocean, somewhere.
Ned DaSouza, his wife Charmaine DaSouza, her sister Sharon Simmons (43) and three of their friends — Montgomery Hazel, 56 years old of Chauncey (Captain); Claudia Williams, 43 years old of Belle Vue; and Josianne John of Murrayâs Village — have been missing at sea since last Sunday.
The two men and four women, all employed on Mustique, were onboard a small pirogue called Midnight Shadow travelling from Canouan to Mustique when they ran into difficulty.
The SVG Coast Guard reports that one of the women on board called security on Mustique, informing them that the boat was taking on water and was sinking. Mustique security then notified the Coast Guard, who, with the assistance of several local and regional entities have been searching for the six ever since.
Up to press time, there has been no sign of the seafarers.
Dessla Dasouza, Nedâs mother said that the missing man is her first son and at 46 years old is her helper and lifeline.
Ned has worked on the exclusive island of Mustique for over 20 years in the construction industry. He is employed as a foreman with James Archibald who runs a construction company there.
Dessla said that she last spoke to her son on Sunday morning when he told her he was going to Canouan on a boat ride.
âI said go in Godâs name, but on Sunday night my grandson said that one of my granddaughters called and said to call her immediately and when I spoke to her she said that they were missing,â recalls Dessla while Nedâs one-year-old son Donte grabbed the recorder that was documenting his grandmotherâs sad recollection.
âSunday is the last day I heard his voice and I hoping that they could find him because he is my helper. When I need anything and I call him he would help me and I would be glad if they could find him, dead or living, that I could get his body.
I praying to God to give me the strength that I could cope with it because I want to see him again,â Dessla said.
She added, âHe is a friendly guy, everybody talks good about him. He is very quiet. I donât know if he could swim, but I leave everything in Godâs hand.â
She said that Ned is the father of three children, one residing in the USA and two in SVG.
Also sombre, yet hopeful is Nedâs sister Seymonia Dasouza.
She offered: âHe is like a best friend to me. He is my advisor. If I need advice on anything I can call on him. He supports the entire family, even though we are working and we need anything and we call on him he is there for us.â
Seymonia painted a picture of a kind, giving and passionate man who believed in family.
âWhen he come from Mustique, we would get together and roast chicken on the grill he made for us, because he likes cooking…,â Seymonia said.
She recalled speaking to her brother on May 29 before he went back to Mustique and again on Friday when she informed him that she was going to St Lucia.
ââ¦He wished me safe flight and it is so hard that he wished me well then he himself got in some trouble. Iâm praying for the safe return of everyone. I love my brother very much and I miss him a lotâ¦,â stressed Seymonia, adding that she is in constant contact with the Coast Guard and Mustique Company.
Suenell Dasouza, another of Nedâs sisters misses her brother also.
âWe get along very well. I feel so sad about my brother and his wife and the others and Iâm praying to God to give us the strength and I wish whoever is out there helping to search find my brother,â said Suenell.
Ria Roberts, Nedâs cousin is also of the belief that her âfavourite cousinâ is still alive.
âI have this feeling that he is somewhere out there, he and his wife and others, they are alive, I donât have the belief that they died. I believe they are holding on for help and I wish that they can come home safe.â
â…I know that they are holding on and I want the people on social media to stop putting up RIP and sending condolences and those stuff because I donât believe they die,â said Ria.
Up to press time the search was continuing for the missing six.