Teens feared drowned in flood waters return home

When flood wa­ters be­gan ris­ing at the Poodai La­goon in Pe­nal to­day, two teenage friends de­cid­ed to use an in­flat­able bed to float down the flood­ed street.

But when the bed got a hole and sank, res­i­dents of Sat­nar­ine Trace and Ram­s­ingh Trace mount­ed a man­hunt be­liev­ing that the teenagers had drowned.

Dis­traught moth­er Ad­i­na Par­dassie broke down in tears. How­ev­er, more than an hour lat­er the boys ar­rived home, obliv­i­ous to the pan­ic they caused in the com­mu­ni­ty. They had gone to an­oth­er friend's home, one mile away, to pump back up the in­flat­able bed. Af­ter­wards, they float­ed back to Ram­s­ingh Trace where they live.

One of the teenagers said it was tempt­ing to float down the street al­though they knew the in­flat­able bed had a hole.

Look­ing wor­ried, he said, "We patch up the hole a lit­tle and then we left. It start­ed to leak. We didn't know peo­ple were look­ing for us."

Par­dassie, in an in­ter­view, said she was re­lieved the boys were safe.

"Peo­ple kept com­ing to the house ask­ing if they were found. It was the worst feel­ing ever," fa­ther De­vanand Par­dassie said, adding they were wor­ried be­cause the floods were as high as 10 feet in the la­goons.

An­oth­er res­i­dent, Anand Ramesh­wars­ingh, said while they were hap­py the boys were safe it was im­por­tant for res­i­dents to know they should not ven­ture in­to flood wa­ters. He said when­ev­er it floods vil­lagers go out to fish for cas­cadu­ra.

"When the boys went miss­ing peo­ple start­ed to go in­to the la­goon to search for them. We brought in kayaks and used rafts. We are re­lieved they are ok," he said.

Sev­er­al man­made rafts built with wood­en boards and bar­rels were seen at the side of the Rochard Road and Clarke Road, Pe­nal. At Kan­hai Trace, Bar­rack­pore, a vil­lager was seen play­ing with a toy boat in the floods. Up to mid­day, most of the Oropouche Basin at Pe­nal, Debe, Bar­rack­pore and Wood­land were im­pass­able.

The Of­fice of Dis­as­ter Pre­pared­ness has ad­vised cit­i­zens not to en­ter flood­wa­ters as it could be dan­ger­ous and con­t­a­m­i­nat­ed with sewage.

- by Radhica De Silva. Photo by Kristian De Silva.

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