A 71-year-old man has lost his life while six other persons were injured after they were attacked by Africanized bees while on their way out of a dam at Number 27 Village, West Coast Berbice (WCB), on Thursday.
The deceased has been identified as Winston Rigby, a fisherman of Number 41 Village, WCB. Those injured are his brothers: 44-year-old William Rigby of Onderneeming and 72-year-old Kenneth Rigby of El Dorado Village, and fishermen Charles Cadogen, 59, of Bel Air; 62-year-old Glenroy Fraser of No. 22 Bel Air; 56-year-old Basil Ramesh Davie of Bushlot Village, and Leon Bobb, 61, of Belladrum.
William, who managed to speak with the media, recounted that he, along with his brothers, were on their way to get registered for the fishermen cash grant, and while making their way out of the Number 27 Village pump station dam, a swarm of bees attacked them.
The fisherman said: “They were ahead of me walking and I was riding behind, then I see they fussing up in front… then I turn and say run, is bees, cause I know the bees were there about a month and something ago and I hollering run! alyuh run! Then the bees done deh on me face, so I pull a cloth I used to cover fish with and pull it over my face and ride harder until I reach road.
One of them guys jump in the trench but my brother get plenty bite by time he reach the road.”
He added that Winston, after the ordeal, sat down and asked for a few minutes. In this time, William was taking out stingers from his body, but he did not hesitate to initiate efforts to get his brother to a hospital.
“I flag down a taxi and by the time the taxi turn back, he [Winston] start fight up! Fight up! And when we reach to the hospital he survive for about fifteen minutes,” William said.
The other men were treated by doctors on duty and four of them were sent away while two remain hospitalised.
“Right now I feel ok but just pain. I get two injections and tablets from the hospital,” William said.
The fisherman said it was a very tragic incident because the men were initially awaiting the arrival of a boat at the dock when someone told them that registration was being done for the grant.
William said that prior to this incident he had made a report of the presence of bees in the area to a worker at the Regional Democratic Council of Region Five.
“I made a report to the person that does do the honey about a month and half ago, but he checked and didn’t find any bees. He told me to put something where the bee is, but I did put plastic and a machine pass and clean, and move the plastic,” William said.