Best friends’ bodies recovered after boating mishap

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Russell’s relatives at the funeral parlour

FOUR days after one was swept overboard and the other jumped to save him, the bodies of best friends Ozard Russell and Ravie Chutie were recovered in the Essequibo River Friday morning.
Relatives have confirmed that the men were recovered separately and miles from each other due to the movement of the tide.

Reports are that the men were travelling back home to Hogg Island by boat on Monday when Chutie, who was sitting with his feet hanging over the side, tried changing his position, slipped and fell into the river.

Ravi’s grieving daughter and wife

His wife Janet Robertson told the Guyana Chronicle that it was she who had cautioned him about how he was sitting, and that the reason he had fallen overboard was because he had had a little too much to drink at the time.

She said that Russell, who was operating the boat, on seeing his friend fall overboard, jumped into the water to try to save him but could not, as he, too, was intoxicated. What complicated matters even more, she said, was the roughness of the water.

They both died, she said, begging for help, leaving her at the mercy of the river and the changing tide, as she did not know how to operate the vessel. Luckily, she said, she had a cellphone on her, and that was how she was able to contact the owner, and get to safety.

The Guyana Chronicle caught up with both men’s relatives at the Ezekiel Funeral Parlour at Vreed-en-Hoop, West Coast Demerara, where their badly decomposed remains are being stored until the post-mortem, which is scheduled for Monday.