New Ramble mourns drowned teens - Another person hospitalised
While it now has been officially confirmed that it was only two persons, and not three as was initially reported, who drowned at the public beach in Reading, St James, on Sunday, that did not alter yesterday's outpouring of grief in New Ramble, the home district of the two deceased teenagers.
The dead boys were identified by relatives as 15-year-old Alex Lindo, a student of St James High School; and 18-year-old Oshane Lowe, an employee of the Montego Bay-based Caribbean Producers Jamaica Limited. The person now recovering in hospital has been identified only as Jeffrey.
"I blacked out (fainted) and fall off the step same time," said Lindo's mother, Charmaine Jerman, in relating how she reacted when she got the shocking news of her son's death.
According to reports, the boys were part of a group of men from New Ramble, who made the familiar trek to the beach popularly known as Five Mile Beach. Some of them reportedly went into a deep area, where Lindo and Jeffery reportedly got into difficulties while swimming.
Rushed to hospital
A passer-by reportedly saw what was happening and jumped into the water. He managed to rescue Jeffery, who he pulled to shore, where CPR was administered. He was subsequently rushed off to the Cornwall Regional Hospital in an unconscious state.
Lowe, who had left the water earlier and was on the beach, saw Lindo, who residents say was his best friend, in difficulty, thrashing around in the water. He jumped in to help his friend.
According to eyewitnesses, Lowe got to Lindo and somehow got tangled up with him. He frantically tried to pull away but failed as they both sank out of sight. They were subsequently found dead.
"Alex tell me to share his dinner and him take the food and left," said Jerman, in recalling her last interaction with her son. "I thought he was going to play football because he took up the gears and left. I did not know that a beach him gone. After me black out and regain myself (fainted and recovered), I went down there (to the beach) and saw him on the roadside, dead."
At Lowe's house, his grandmother, Carol Rickards, who had been caring for him since his mother died three years ago, was grief-stricken as she tried to come to terms with his untimely death.
"He was here playing video game and a guy come call him and ask if him nuh ready to go beach," recalled Rickards. "He said no, the rain a fall, and the guy still a pester him, pester him until him just change him mind. He eat something and left with quite a few boys."
The grandmother said Lowe, a former student of Anchovy High School, came back home at one point but then went back to the beach. That was the last time she saw him.
"When him drown nobody wanted to tell me, but I know something was wrong by the way they reacted," said Rickards. "So I put on my clothes and walked down the road, and somebody see me and say him dead and the body already gone up the hospital."