Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 22nd 2014 Contents A11
Saturday, March 22, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The family of a T&T-born woman who drowned
last year after being trapped in a sea cave in south
England, are calling for a second coroner s inquest
into her death.
The family of Charlotte Buffy Furness-Smith, a
Maths teacher from Bristol, made the appeal on
Wednesday, after a corner in Bournemouth, England,
ruled her death was as a result of a misadventure.
According to a report in the British daily newspaper,
The Telegraph, the Furness-Smith s family described
the inquest as "a total sham" because it failed to
examine an almost two-hour delay in a rescue oper-
ation to save her.
In a interview with the newspaper, Furness-Smith s
mother Patricia said her family was considering their
legal options in pursuing a second inquest.
She said: "We have lost our wonderful daughter
and we would like to have some peace and quiet to
actually grieve for her. But equally we owe it to her
to actually get to the truth of how her last hours
panned out. It is imperative that no other family ever
suffers what we have gone through."
Furness-Smith, 30, was the only granddaughter of
Trinidad attorney and former independent senator
Gerald Furness-Smith, 91, and his wife Joan. She and
her family moved to the United Kingdom when she
She joined the Royal Navy Reserves while studying
engineering at Exeter University and was part of the
Navy s recruitment team. She then qualified as a
Despite the family s strong criticism of the delay
of coast guard rescuers, corner Sheriff Payne, who
presided over the inquest, commended the efforts of
the officers and went as far as to recommend that
one officer be awarded a national award for bravery.
Head of the coast guard unit involved in the failed
rescue attempt, Mark Rodaway, testified in the inquest
and said his officers did all within their power to
"I am confident the coast guard helicopter crew,
rescue teams and the lifeboat crews on scene that
day made every effort while there was still a chance
of a successful rescue outcome," Rodaway said.
In his ruling in the inquest, Payne said the siblings
Family requests second
autopsy after drowning
Trapped in a sea cave in south England...
had put themselves at risk because they
failed to heed poor weather warnings issued
"Alex confirmed they had not checked
tides or anything like that. It was predictable
that the weather was going to worsen," Payne
During the inquest, Payne heard evidence
from Furness-Smith s 31-year-old brother
Alex, who was with her when the incident
Alex testified that on November 2, last
year, he and his sister went to the coast near
Dorset, south England to go kite-surfing but
changed their minds when they noticed
there were strong winds that day.
Instead the siblings decided to do coas-
teering, an adventure sport involving tree
climbing and swimming along rocky coast-
The newspaper report stated when the
siblings were climbing at the Tilly Whim
caves near Swanage, they were swept into
a cave by a huge swell caused by 60 mph
"We looked to swim out of the cave but
every time we saw an opportunity another
big wave came crashing in. It appeared the
only option was for one of us to swim outside
to get help," Alex said.
Alex decided to swim out and was rescued
by a coast guard helicopter, while a life boat
unsuccessfully attempted to enter the cave
through its narrowing opening.
Almost two hours later, coast guard rescuer
Ian Bugler, who Payne suggested the award
be given, was lowered 15 ft into the cave
through a blowhole, however by then Fur-
ness-Smith had already drowned.
Alex s harrowing testimony detailed his
sister s cries and screams for help before she
eventually drowned. Her body was never
The All Saints Prayer Group s Annual
Prayer Breakfast which was originally sched-
uled for February 8, will now take place
today from 7.30 am.
All tickets already sold will be honoured
on this new date.
The Rt Rev Claude Berkley, Anglican Bish-
op, has given his patronage for the function
at the All Saints Church Hall on Marli Street,
The event includes a praise and worship
performance by Jubilee Music ministries.
The feature speaker is Canon Richard Jacob
For further information contact the church
office at 627-7004.
All Saints prayer breakfast today
Charlotte 'Buffy' Furness-Smith
LITERACY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
Director of the Scotiabank T&T Foundation Peter Ghany, left, looks on as one of the pupils is assessed by an Arrow facilitator at La
Puerta Government Primary School. Scotiabank T&T Foundation has partnered with the Aural, Read, Respond, Oral, Write (Arrow)
foundation to deliver the Arrow programme to selected pupils of La Puerta Government Primary School, Diego Martin.
A total of 20 pupils were selected based on the Arrow assessment to participate in a six-week literacy development programme. A
statement said the foundation's support of the Arrow initiative is made possible through the bank's Bright Future programme aimed
at supporting programmes that create opportunities for youth in disadvantaged communities with focus on the areas of education,
sport, culture and wellness. Statistics show a link between children with low literacy skills and anti-social behaviours resulting in
dropouts from school, unemployment and crime.
Links Archive March 21st 2014 March 23rd 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page