3 feared drowned after returning from Suriname via backtrack

Three persons are feared drowned after they disembarked at a section of the Corentyne River from a ‘backtrack’ boat plying the Guyana/Suriname River route on Monday evening.
Missing and feared drowned are: 48-year-old Sharida Hussein, called ‘Sherry’, of Pilot Street, New Amsterdam; 75-year-old Babuni Harrier, called ‘Dorris’, of Number 2 Village, East Canje; and Alwin Joseph, a former resident of Number 65 Village Corentyne, who is believed to be in his thirties.
According to the Police, while returning to Guyana, Hussein was in contact with her 19-year-old son at about 19:03h on Monday. She told him that she had been dropped off at a specific point at Number 63 Beach, and that the water was at her waist level and the place was dark.
The teenager subsequently called his mother again, but the calls went unanswered.
The woman’s son, Joshua Samaroo, said his mother had been in the neighbouring country since last year.
Following the incident, he contacted Police, who later said they learnt that there were two other persons who may have been dropped off at the same location with Hussein.
Meanwhile, a granddaughter of Harrier’s told this publication that her grandmother had gone to Suriname in December 2020 to visit her daughter.
“We hear that the boat bring them over and drop them off. We don’t know exactly if they drop them on the shore of if they drop them on the sandbank…we don’t know exactly where they drop them,” the granddaughter told this publication.
She explained that her aunt in Suriname who had assisted Harrier into the small passenger boat had not been able to make contact with the pensioner at the time it was anticipated that she should have arrived. This prompted those in Suriname to alert relatives in Guyana. Harrier was expected to be dropped off at the Number 63 Beach.
Her son, who lives at Glasgow, East Bank Berbice, travelled to the Corentyne in the dark of night, and when he got to Number 63 Beach, he did not see his mother, but rather saw others in search of their missing relative.
Meanwhile, Joseph, formerly of Number 65 Village Corentyne, had been residing in Suriname with his wife and one child.
According to his cousin Narinie Samcundar, Joseph did not state the purpose of his visit, but noted that whenever he visits Guyana, he stays at her Number 65 Village home. She said he called on Monday afternoon and informed her that he was coming to Guyana in the evening, and would need someone to pick him up at Number 63 Village when he arrives.
Samcundar revealed that Joseph called a brother in the US and informed him that he had arrived in Guyana. With that, the brother contacted Samcundar.
When they arrived at Number 63 Beach, they did not see Joseph, and they began searching for him. During a search for him, other persons arrived and said they also were looking for a missing relative.
The Police were contacted at about 02:00h on Tuesday morning.
In a release on Tuesday afternoon, the Police said the search was continuing.
The Coast Guard Department was contacted, and a patrol vessel has been dispatched from New Amsterdam to Number 61 Village along the Atlantic coastline.
Suriname closed its borders with Guyana in February as part of a series of measures to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. The Surinamese military has since been patrolling the River.
Nevertheless, persons have been crossing the river border by boat illegally, travelling by night. (Andrew Carmichael)