One day after 17-year-old Jafaun Benjamin, called Eber, reportedly drowned while swimming in the Pomeroon River, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), his body was on Sunday afternoon recovered.
Police stated that the teen’s body was retrieved around 15:00h by a search party at Teneze Ferme, Lower Pomeroon River, a short distance from the landing where persons in the area saw him go under on Saturday.
His body was taken to the Suddie Hospital Mortuary to await a post-mortem. The teen was said to have been a labourer of Moruca and Grant Teneze Ferme, Lower Pomeroon River.
According to the Police report, Benjamin left his home in Moruca, Region One (Barima-Waini), to work on a farm at Lower Pomeroon, where he consumed alcohol on a regular basis.
His employer, Carl Roberts, told investigators that he went to the backdam on Saturday morning, leaving Benjamin at home. He noted that at approximately 14:30h, he was informed that the teen had been drinking earlier on the farm and had gone into the Pomeroon River for a swim.
The man said he was further told that the teenager swam to the deeper part of the river, where he was seen “fighting up” in the water before disappearing. This was reportedly witnessed by two females on the farm.
A search team was formed by persons in the area, but the teenager was not located.
Just one week before Benjamin’s drowning, a boat capsized in the same river, and although the passenger was rescued by a passing vessel, the boat operator, who was also intoxicated, drowned.
Kendol Rodriguez of Kabakaburi Village, Upper Pomeroon, went missing after he fell overboard. His body was not discovered until some 48 hours later.
It was reported that Rodriguez, the boat captain, was transporting Joseph Thomas, a sawman, when the boat capsized.
Reports are that on the night before the fateful trip, Thomas and Rodriguez had attended a wedding celebration and had been consuming alcohol for hours.
Around 02:00h the following morning, the duo left the wedding house to return to their homes via a 15-horsepower boat owned by Rodriguez.
However, according to Thomas, they were in the vicinity of Siriki Village, when Rodriguez “suddenly began to swerve from left to right”, causing the boat to capsize and both men to fall into the river.
The sawman told the Police that he managed to hold on to a side of the overturned vessel during the commotion, but did not see what happened to Rodriguez.