Two unsung heroes who live at Bog Walk Gorge in St. Catherine are recounting how they rescued a motorist last Saturday, May 8, when his car plunged into the river that runs beneath Flat Bridge in the gorge.
The car, with only the driver aboard, landed into the water after it reportedly hit a pothole while approaching the bridge. The driver did not suffer any apparent injury.
One of the young heroes, who gave his name only as Rosaine, is 22 years old. The other is Rosaine’s swim trainer, 29-year-old Dwayne Stapleton, also called ‘Lizard’.
In explaining his life-saving action, Rosaine told The Beacon that he was travelling on a bus from work in Linstead when he saw the car in the water.
“Mi jump out of the bus,” he said, adding that he immediately went into the water.
At that time, the car driver was already out of the sinking vehicle and was standing on it, Rosaine recalled.
He said he started to approach the motorist, but the motorist apparently panicked and jumped on him, making the rescue effort more complex.
“Mi frighten [when him jump],” Rosaine said, adding that the motorist was too large in body for him alone to manage.
“Him complicate the situation when him jump off on me. If I didn’t have help, I would just have to leave him. Him panic an attack mi.”
Rosaine’s swim trainer, Stapleton, who lives near Flat Bridge, appeared in the nick of time.
Stapleton said, although his right hand was sprained recently, he went into the water to boost the rescue effort.
He, along with Rosaine, eventually managed to pull the motorist from the water.
“A di sprain hand mi actually use tek the driver out [of the water],” Stapleton commented.
He told The Beacon that, over the years, he has rescued several people whose vehicles plunge into the river.
“I can’t even remember [how many times I rescued people], but a whole heap a time,” Stapleton said.
While he underscored the importance of being able to swim, he stated that he feels ‘great’ whenever he saves a life.
“I feel like a king when mi can save a life,” Stapleton further said.
“Swimming is very important. When you can help yourself, you can do a lot of things. You never know when you may drop in the water.”
Stapleton, as well as Rosaine, said their passion for helping people is not affected by the fact that they never happen to receive a national award for their heroic deeds.
Rosaine recalled saving another motorist on a previous occasion.
Asked how he feels knowing that he has helped to save lives, Rosaine said: “I don’t have a special feeling. It is a normal thing. Everyday wi swim, and wi even practice to save life too.”
Rosaine also accused the authorities of appearing nonchalant regarding dangerous potholes in the road that runs through the gorge.
“Dem nuh normally fix dem things deh until them cause a vehicle to reach in di water,” he lamented.
By Horace Mills, Journalist
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