Three Men Drown in Sep­a­rate In­ci­dents

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Star Re­porter

Ke­lan Kevin Jn Bap­tiste still has not seen the face of the man who saved his life. All the 24-year-old re­mem­bers is what oth­ers have told him about the “Span­ish fella” who sprung into ac­tion to res­cue him min­utes af­ter Ke­lan him­self jumped into wa­ters off the shores of Cap Es­tate to help two co-work­ers who’d run into dif­fi­culty at sea. The two men who’d spurred Ke­lan’s heroic de­ci­sion were Ke­iron Cornib­ert and Cur­tis ‘Curtie’ Pros­pere. Both lost their lives in the tragic in­ci­dent on Sun­day, Jan­uary 15th.

Be­fore things took a dis­as­trous turn, Ke­lan and other sub­con­tracted work­ers of the Roy­al­ton Re­sort had been at­tend­ing an af­ter-work get-to­gether on the beach. One of the men who at­tended the event told the STAR: “A bunch of us were on work in the morn­ing and de­cided to have a cook­out af­ter work. They said they were go­ing to catch the fish, bar­beque or what­ever. So af­ter work, at about 3, those who were fin­ished work as­sem­bled on the beach, and these two fel­las de­cided to go out to catch fish.”

De­spite be­ing dis­cour­aged by the oth­ers against go­ing out into the rough seas, Ke­iron and Cur­tis per­sisted.

“One fella even of­fered to pay the two of them not to go be­cause of how the wa­ter was,” the man, also a worker at the re­sort, told the STAR.

The two friends de­cided to head out any­way. Not long af­ter that their ves­sel, re­port­edly a kayak, started pulling in wa­ter, ap­par­ently through a pre­vi­ously un­de­tected hole.

“The rasta guy couldn’t swim,” the worker said. “So when the boat went down he started pan­ick­ing. The other guy started swim­ming to shore. When he re­al­ized his friend was drown­ing, he turned back to save him.”

Eye­wit­nesses say Cur­tis’s leg got stuck in the fish­ing net they’d taken along with them, and that was when dis­as­ter struck.

“He started go­ing down. He started scream­ing dif­fer­ent names of friends who were on the shore for help.”

One of those friends was Ke­lan, who was in the wa­ter in the blink of an eye. A bat­tle be­tween Ke­lan and the rough seas ended with him be­ing tossed onto nearby rocks, with Cur­tis still strug­gling to stay afloat. Hold­ing on for dear life, the next thing Ke­lan re­mem­bers is wak­ing up in an am­bu­lance on the way to hos­pi­tal. Eye­wit­nesses say it was the mys­tery stranger who every­one re­mem­bers only as the “Span­ish fella” who saved his life. “Ke­lan was hold­ing on to the rocks and the fourth guy dove into the wa­ter. He said af­ter­ward that he grabbed Cur­tis’s hand but the waves hit hard, and it slipped out. So he ended up go­ing down. The Span­ish guy was a strong swim­mer but even he was hav­ing a hard time stay­ing above the wa­ter. When he came up again, and no­ticed that Ke­lan was slip­ping into the wa­ter, he went af­ter him, pulled him onto shore and ad­min­is­tered CPR.”

The body of Cur­tis Pros­pere was dis­cov­ered by ma­rine po­lice some time af­ter 6 p.m. that same day, while Ke­iron Cornib­ert was found on Tues­day, Jan­uary 17th. Co-work­ers are still strug­gling to come to terms with their deaths.

In a sep­a­rate in­ci­dent, the body of an­other man washed up on a Gros Islet beach on Thurs­day, Jan­uary 19th. Ac­cord­ing to the po­lice press re­la­tions depart­ment, au­topsy re­sults have con­firmed that the 29-year-old, Murquid An­nerville, died as a re­sult of drown­ing. An­nerville was orig­i­nally from Den­nery and resided on Chapel Street, Gros Islet.

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