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Rock Gutter Tragedy – a loss to the nation

Rock Gutter Tragedy – a loss to the nation


Arnhim Eustace, leader of this country’s parliamentary opposition, has labelled Monday’s vehicular accident that claimed the lives of seven youths as a tragic situation.

The Opposition Leader told SEARCHLIGHT that the loss of the young lives might have deprived this country of some of its children,{{more}} who would have become exceptional citizens, when the vehicle they were travelling in plunged into the sea at Rock Gutter in Owia.

“Very often in the far districts of St Vincent and the Grenadines, when people reach to certain schools, you have to assume that they are among the brightest in their groups. We would certainly have some of our young leaders, and I have heard about some of them and they were in fact outstanding, so it was a loss in that sense, of persons who could have made significant contributions in the future.”

Eustace said that he expected that the immediate needs of the survivors and the families of the victims would be met; referring to counselling and funeral preparations, as well as a national period of mourning.

He said that Monday’s tragedy also highlighted the need for a higher level of preparation for future incidents, should they occur.

He also commended all the persons who endured valiantly to recover the bodies of the youngsters, who were retrieved on Monday.

“What is so difficult to deal with it shows that we have a long way to go in preparedness for these kinds of things, because those bodies that were close to the shores we couldn’t even get them, and I could understand why the Coast Guard couldn’t get them, because it was so rough and it was impossible for them to get on there.

“But we don’t even have any helicopter facilities and anything of the sort for those kinds of situation, because if you could have gotten a rope down into the sea or somebody into the sea on a rope I think we would have gotten back those bodies much earlier and we even haven’t got those other two.

“There are a number of lessons for us. People tried very hard yesterday and I appreciate the efforts that were made by the health services and the coast guard but, particularly those fellas who were down on the rocks there who managed to retrieve some of the bodies; they did a fantastic job and you can see the stunned looks on people’s faces, they couldn’t believe it was happening.

“It was a real tragic situation, it is going to take people in that area a real long time to get over it. It is vey difficult to deal with these things.”(JJ)