Afternoon swim ends in teen's deathWednesday, October 13, 2021
An afternoon of fun and enjoyment for a group of young people turned into a nightmare Monday when one of the teenagers got into difficulties and drowned in a section of the Rio Minho in Clarendon.
The Jamaica Observer was told that shortly after 6:00 pm, 18-year-old Tomoya Cameron, who was staying with relatives in Canaan Heights, went to swim in the river, behind the area in the community known as Gully Back.
Cameron reportedly followed another individual to a deeper section of the river and got into difficulties.
The police were summoned and they retrieved Cameron's body which was clad in grey shorts and a pink top. She was taken to May Pen Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
One of Cameron's relatives, Ronaldo English, described the 18-year-old as someone who was very jovial.
“She is the type of cousin weh we live like sister and brother. Three of us here [in the same yard] and all three of us live like sister and brother. It's like a sister we lose. She is somebody you will always want to be around. Just her personality make people gravitate to her, so it's a big loss fi wi, a big loss fi di family,” English told the Observer.
He said he had been on his way home from work when he learnt what had happened.
“I wasn't at the river with them at the time it happened. It was when mi a come from work mi realise what a gwaan because I have to cross di river to come home and when mi realise say a my cousin, mi have a nervous breakdown. Mi drop mi bag and inna di water a search fi find her fi see if she at least have life left or something. It really hard on all of we because this is a big loss,” said English, fighting to hold back tears.
“Sometimes there is no water in the river. More time it dry like chip and the place hot, so when the river come down and it clean they will want to go enjoy themselves. It's a river weh you haffi have caution because it might look shallow and when you go there it deeper than what you expect,” he said.
“It reach mi already where mi underestimate the depth of the water and people were there to help me that time, but nobody was there this time to help her, and she couldn't swim fi help herself,” added English.