Fri | Jun 5, 2020

3-y-o’s drowning sparks call for Rio Cobre fencing

Published:Monday | May 4, 2020 | 12:00 AMRasbert Turner/Gleaner Writer
Natasha Sinclair hugs her two-year-old son, Peter Barrett, on Saturday as she thinks about the sequence of events that led to the drowning death of her three-year-old son, Kashan Walker, in Kent Village, St Catherine, last Friday.
Natasha Sinclair and her two-year-old son Peter Barrett. Residents have called for perimeter fencing to be installed along the Rio Cobre to prevent a recurrence of the drowning death of Sinclair’s three-year-old son Kashan Walker.
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The drowning of a three-year-old boy has reignited calls in Kent Village, Bog Walk, for the erection of perimeter fencing to prevent a recurrence of the tragedy.

Residents said that the Rio Cobre – that yawning graveyard of memories – presented serious dangers for children even if they are supervised.

“When all is said and done, there needs to be a fence around here as there are many children living here,” said Marcus Benjamin.

“When the river is in spate, it’s just God’s mercy why more sad story not happening.”

As residents argued among themselves about a solution, 27-year-old Natasha Sinclair clung to her two-year-old son, Peter Barrett, as she stared into an abyss of regret as she replayed in her mind the moments that led to her other son, Kashan Walker, drowning in the nearby river.

The three-year-old’s body was found in the Rio Cobre some time after 3 o’clock on Friday.

“From last night, I don’t sleep, and every time I remember him, I am in pure pain all over my body,” Sinclair told The Gleaner.

The mother of three was consumed with sadness and shock – her lips refusing to retrace the tragedy.

“Mi really miss him, and it mek mi sad as him was very bright. Mi feel it badly,” Sinclair said.

Although details of Kashan’s demise were sketchy, it was revealed that an adult had been entrusted with the children who eventually went to the river a short distance away.

“Is not that these children are bad. Is just that everyone roun here can swim and, unfortunately, the lickle bwoy drown,” said a resident, who requested anonymity. “It really hit the community hard.”

BRIGHT CHILD

Kashan was a student of the Four Square Basic School in the St Catherine community and was said to be very active.

“This was a bright child and could be a future businessman, lawyer, or even prime minister who died. This is very hard to understand,” a resident mused.

This is the second such drowning tragedy in more than a month in the parish.

On March 20, Joshua Gordon, a seventh-grader of St Jago High School, drowned in a section of the river near Eltham Park.

Residents also called for fencing to be installed in the vicinity of homes along the river.

Meanwhile, Councillor Peter Abrahams of the Bog Walk division expressed sympathy for the family.

The Bog Walk police have launched an investigation into the incident.