Tragedy has struck the Arthur family of Delaford, Tobago, for a second time in the space of one month.
Mere days after attending the funeral of his aunt Teresa Alleyne-Adams and her husband, firefighter Christian Adams, who perished in a vehicular accident on May 18, Teresa’s nephew, 24-year-old Justin Arthur drowned while bathing at the Argyle waterfall on Tuesday.
His passing came two days before he was due to return home to England on June 8.
He had come to Tobago to attend the Adams’ funeral service on June 1 and stayed on to spend time with his girlfriend, who was also visiting from England.
Tuesday was to be a special day for the couple, as June 6 marked the first year of their relationship.
However, a day which was supposed to be a memorable one turned tragic during their outing to the waterfall.
Justin’s cousin, Kees Arthur, had taken the responsibility for ensuring he had a grand time in Tobago on his first visit in close to ten years. Although born in Tobago, Justin had lived in England with his mother since the age of eight years.
Kees’ father, Rawle Arthur, told Guardian Media that Kees took pride in taking the couple around the island.
“My son went to England about a month ago and spent a weekend with Justin and he was so overwhelmed with the treatment because Justin took him all around (London). He was so satisfied with the treatment that he felt compelled to return back (the hospitality), though in unfortunate circumstances. My son has been taking them out every day,” Rawle Arthur said yesterday
He said his son, who also collapsed on the scene and had to be taken to hospital, has been understandably distraught since Justin’s death.
“He was stretchered out and taken to Casualty. My son was in Casualty for a few hours. He has recovered. He has been stabilised but he still cannot deal with it because he still taking some responsibility for the eventuality.”
Rawle, who resides at Bon Accord, said the family was still mourning over the loss of Teresa and her husband and Justin’s visit was helping them recover in a way until the tragedy struck.
“Justin seem to have been loved by everybody. Everybody missed him and we were going out of our way to ensure he had the best time. So, you could imagine everybody is emotionally drained at this point in time.”
Justin is also the great-nephew of Reverend Vernon Arthur.
According to police reports, Arthur was swimming with his girlfriend and another relative at the waterfall around 3 pm when he got into difficulty.
Emergency responders were called to the scene but could not retrieve him and the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) team was called in. A team of TEMA personnel and divers eventually retrieved the body. Arthur was pronounced dead at the scene. — Reporting by Clayton Clarke