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Oct 31, 2003

3 drown in dory accident

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A community along the Belize River spent today searching for missing loved ones now feared dead. Kendis Moody, fifty-two; Daren Rhaburn, twenty-three; and Curtis Rhaburn, three, were travelling in a dory Thursday night went it suddenly capsized. News 5 was in Maypen this afternoon.

Patrick Jones, Reporting

The sparsely populated village of Maypen is under a pall as the river that runs through the heart of the community has claimed the lives of three of its sons, one of them a mere three year old toddler.

This is the area where the incident happened on Thursday night. According to twenty-three year old Sterling Moody, after a hard days work in his father’s rice field, he, his granduncle and his friend were on their way home, when tragedy struck.

Sterling Moody, Survivor

“We all agreed fu help to work yesterday and today. So they seh the state weh they deh inna, they have to go, so I said we all have to go. We arranged to come back inna the morning, but this morning, Friday morning come give my dad a hand again with rice, right. And that dah what took place meanwhile we going down.”

The incident is particularly hard for Janice Rhaburn, a mother of eleven, who lost both her eldest and youngest sons last night.

Janice Rhaburn, Mother of Deceased

“I leave my oldest son, but then not knowing that he was going up to Moody Bank. Well, I get the news say that dah some rice he gone help the Moodys them pick. And last night about twelve o’ clock I get the news while waiting pan him. I get the news that I hear that them turn over, and I get the news say that two of them drowned.”

Rhaburn says the last time she saw her baby alive was last Thursday when the family celebrated his third birthday.

Janice Rhaburn

“Right now the family is on a stand still right now because they didn’t start to dive for the kids them yet. So right now I deh pan like half and half, I’m off balance. Only my husband went to Belize to see if he can move around to try to get some people to help.”

Moody says the incident, which happened around seven-thirty last night is something he just can’t explain, as he is no stranger to this stretch of the river.

Patrick Jones

“As a boat driver how long have you been on this river?”

Sterling Moody

“Well many years. I’ve been growing up, here on the river.”

Patrick Jones

“You know the river well?”

Sterling Moody

“Know the river well.”

Patrick Jones

“But you didn’t know the log was there?”

Sterling Moody

“Never know it was there…And we leave out good. And we noh go fast or nothing, just go and continue go and afterwards the boat hit on something and then collide and everybody have on boots and everything. The brother have his brother hold, the next one single, I single, I dah the driver. And I holler out when the boat tripped. I say, “tek off your boots and get lighten up and try help unuself” because everybody has to try help themselves.”

Moody says in the frantic moments that followed, he managed to swim to safety about half mile away. But when he reached the riverbank he realized his friends did not make it.

Sterling Moody

“I mange to reach in and I hang here all the while. From there I noh hear nobody. Because the length of while I take to dip down and come up I the hear voice, but I noh the see them because dah night and inna my mind I just feel like, I say them bwai done drowned. And from there I decided to swim down the river.”

Janice Rhaburn

“Meanwhile, my son the holler for help having his younger brother in front of his hand trying to survive, but the young man say he couldn’t help them and after that he said he noh hear nothing more, no more sound. All he hail, he noh hear no more sound. He went to look at the place where he saw them was floating in the water, but there is no use because they already gone down already.”

Sterling Moody

“He had the baby hold at the time, at the time when it tripped. But everybody start bawling out for help, and I tell them noh di bawl, try help unuself and let go off the boots and everything and let them go. Noh try save nothing, just save yourself and the baby. And I couldn’t do it too because then I inna the same position too. And I managed to get inside and I hold on a good while, like ten fifteen minutes I deh there the wait, because then dah far I got fuh go, I can’t go nowhere on this side. So I just keep travelling and I come straight and made a report and told my father what going on.”

Moody says when he reached his father’s house, he told them what had happened and they immediately launched a search, but up to news time, neither of the tree bodies had surfaced. Patrick Jones, for News 5.

News 5 would like to thank Leonardo Seguro for providing transportation on the river this afternoon.

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