Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 21st 2017 Contents A4 news
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Rescuers: Family would have drowned
The men who helped rescue a
couple and their two children
from flood waters in Caparo on
Thursday are disappointed with
the lack of response from ire
and police of icers who were
contacted but never showed up
to assist with the rescue.
Victor Dick, who heard the
children's screams, and Neil
Joseph, who jumped into the
flood waters to help the stricken
family, yesterday told CNC3's
Morning Brew the car had al-
ready gone down by the time
they responded to the cries for
Commenting on the lack of
response from ire and police,
Dick said: "Both said they were
coming but two hours later no
one showed up. The people
were far out in the water a few
hundred yards out and they
were shouting for help. Without
help they could have drowned."
A video being widely circu-
lated on social media shows
swirling muddy waters sur-
rounding trees and bushes as
the men, tied to ropes, swam
towards the trapped family.
Joseph said he sought the as-
sistance of a man he saw with a
piece of rope and with the help
of villagers started what turned
out to be a two-hour rescue
mission. A villager, Victor Ali,
assisted. With the assistance of
another villager, Neehru Seeraj,
a makeshift raft was constructed
out of ig stalk.
Joseph and Ali made four
trips to the bamboo patch,
which they estimated to be
about 100 yards out, to bring
the two children, their pregnant
mother April Ravello and father
Nathyon Lewis to safety. It was
no easy task.
Joseph said when they got to the
family the children were crying.
"I know it was very serious be-
cause the water was rising," he
When they discovered none of
the members of the family could
swim, Ali suggested taking them
out one by one. He said he res-
cued the girl irst.
"She locked on to my neck and I
kept swimming," he said.
She was safely delivered to wait-
"We knew the water level was
rising when we got the irst kid,
the girl. The parents were scream-
ing that the other kid was going
down. We rushed to save him,"
He said they had to be careful
not to become entangled in grass
and there were a lot of insects
"I did not know the coldness
of the water until everybody was
rescued and we were out," he
The family was taken in by
Seeraj and his family to shower,
change and get a meal.
Joseph said his wife was upset
when he left to jump into the
water, but he has no regrets.
"I watching these children
screaming, I say nah boy we have
to do something because the
water keep rising. I could have
died but at least if I did I would
have died for a good reason," he
"I would do it again because I
never know if one day it could be
my family." ---RS
Mom of family rescued from sinking car
God sent men who saved us
April Ravello, the pregnant
woman who was rescued along
with her husband and two chil-
dren by Caparo villagers on
Thursday, says she has "so much
to be thankful for." Saying she
feared she would have lost her
daughter that day, Ravello said
she is "eternally grateful" to the
men who braved the dirty, muddy
flood waters to save her family.
A video of the rescue posted on
social media has garnered wide-
spread comment and commenda-
tion for the men involved.
Yesterday, Ravello said she and
her family were driving from
Rio Claro along the Caparo Road
to get to Chaguanas where her
husband had a basketball game
scheduled for 3 pm. She said just
after 2 pm flood waters started to
inundate the car.
"It stalled and started going
down. It was being pulled by the
current from the nearby river,"
Ravello's two-year-old son
Njisane was in a car seat and she
quickly unlocked it, grabbed him
and handed him to her husband,
Nathyon Lewis. However, before
she could get to her daughter,
Angel, the car started to sink.
"My daughter went under the
water and I tell my husband she
gone," she recalled.
Ravello said she never let go of
her daughter's jersey and by hold-
ing on to a bamboo tree managed
to pull her out of the submerged
vehicle. She said the children
started screaming and crying and
Angel kept asking if they were
going to die. She said she prayed
for someone to rescue them.
When a pickup passed near to
where they were, Ravello called
out to the occupants but believes
they may not have seen them be-
cause of a bamboo patch.
She said: "We saw a man walk-
ing through the water. I don't
know where he was going or
why he was in the water, but we
started shouting for help and he
That man, Victor Dick, who
had gone to Caparo to attend a
funeral, immediately sprang into
action and got the help of Neil Jo-
seph and other villagers to rescue
Ravello, who is four months
pregnant, said her family did not
get the chance to say a proper
thank you to the men
"No words could explain what
I am feeling. Thankful, extremely
grateful ... there are just no
words," she said.
She said she has not spoken
much about what happened, not
even to her family, because it was
"I don't like to think about it.
I don't know how I feel, I don't
even want to remember it. Every
time I think about my daughter
going under the water I start cry-
ing. I can't help it the tears just
keep flowing," Ravello said.
Ravello believes God inter-
vened and when Dick showed
up "it was as if God sent him."
She estimated their ordeal
lasted about four hours
"I want to go back to
the area to meet them. I
understand that one of
them is not from the area,
but the others who helped
us are from there. The woman
who took us into her home to
shower, she took good care of
us, she was very nice and gave
us clothes, slippers. She gave
us something to eat and
washed our clothes,"
on Govt to
Where is the love and com-
passion of Prime Minister Dr
Keith Rowley in the midst of the
destruction caused by wide-
spread flooding in the country.
This was the question asked
by Opposition Leader Kamla
Persad-Bissessar in Barrack-
pore yesterday as she toured
flood-stricken areas within her
Siparia constituency and sur-
rounding areas, where several
residents were still marooned in
"We cannot even ind him. He
is MIA. He is missing in action...
you cannot even ind him in a
time like this ,which is a national
emergency of a natural disas-
ter. The Prime Minister has not
said one word, not one word. I
mean where is your love and com-
passion and then you want to tell
people 'shut up'," Persad-Bisses-
"Well, I am asking him today
bring out the army, bring out
the state agencies. I am not blam-
ing anyone, today is not a blame
day, today is to help people who
are suffering every where not just
here, but throughout the coun-
She said it is "not possible to
do everything to help every sin-
gle person, but we could have
love and compassion and share
love and compassion which will
at least show the people that the
Government and Opposition
Recalling the last time she saw
such flooding was in 2010 when
she was being sworn in as prime
minister, she said,"Even Tropical
Storm Bret was not as bad as this.
This is the worst I have seen, but
you know what is very painful to
me, where is the Government?
Where are the state agencies?"
Persad-Bissessar, who was
transported on a canoe to
visit stranded villagers, distrib-
uted food hampers donated by
good hearted citizens, to affected
"But, people need more than
that, they need fridges, stoves,
Victor Dick and Neil Joseph during their rescue mission in Caparo flood
waters on Thursday.
"I want to go back to the
area to meet them. The
woman who took us into
her home to shower, she
took good care of us, she
was very nice and gave us
clothes, slippers. She gave
us something to eat and
washed our clothes..."
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