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LIGHTNING STRIKES Leaving Carriacouan Dead at sea Featured

  • Written by  Rawle Paterson
LIGHTNING STRIKES Leaving Carriacouan Dead at sea

The entire island is sadly stunned and lingering in fright and shock, as Nationals at home and abroad are struggling to come to grips with the reality that for the first time in living memory Lightning has claimed the life of a human being here in Carriacou.


 Marvin Quashie, 29, of Mt Pleasant was fatally struck while on a fishing expedition on Saturday morning. He was subsequently pronounced dead at the Princess Royal Hospital. 

Mr Tyron Polson who owns the boat and was the other occupant of the small wooden boat also suffered a temporary blackout during the accident.

According to Mr Polson his fishing partner had returned to the United States of America to visit his Mother last week and therefore he needed someone to accompany him to raise his fish pots.

He said that on Monday, Quashie,  and him went line fishing and offered himself to fill the temporary vacancy.

He pointed out that he then called him and asked him if is possible they go on Friday when Quashie, replied that he was working and suggested early Saturday instead.

At about 10:30pm on Friday, Polson said he called him and they both agreed to depart the Mt Pleasant Bay at about 5 am.

He said that before he left his Grand-Bay home to collect Quashie in his vehicle he noticed a cluster of thick dark clouds and vicious lightning to the south of the island.

However he said he collected, Quashie, and drew his attention to the weather disturbances to the south of the island and in particular the brightness of the lightning.

 Polson said he suggested to Quashie that they should wait until the weather cleared up, however, the youngman insisted that they proceed, because he wanted to get back in time to attend to some construction work in L’Esterre.

The boat owner said he then offered Quashie a pair of sea shoes (which is heavily padded) to wear but he stated that he didn’t like wearing shoes while in a boat.

As they got to Windward, Polson, said the weather intensified and therefore we pulled onto the land and he further suggested to Quashie on three occasions that they should shelter until the weather subsided but Quashie insisted that they proceed as the weather was not posing any danger to them.

Polson said knowing that Quashie had to return he obliged and they went to the get the fish pots, they were about to lift the first of the 28 pots when the incident occurred.

 The fish pot got to the side of the boat   Polson said, when he asked, Quashie, to let go off the rope so that he could turn the pot to get the fishes out.

Polson said as he leaned over to turn the pot into the boat “I heard a loud noise like it was coming from the collision of two high tension electrical wires” he said, and he was immediately knocked out.

Polson said when he recovered, he was leaning over the boat and the fish-pot he said, was back in the water.

As he regained consciousness he realised there was a strong scent of as though something was burnt.

Polson a man with16 years fishing experience said he then asked what happened, and asked Quashie if he had cut off the engine, he observed that there were no more of that noticeable thick black cloud black and everything seemed different.   

Polson said he continued to talk and ask questions but realized he was getting no answers, so he turned, in Quashie’s direction, and got the shock of his life, there was Quashie lying on the floor of the boat with one leg on the gas tank and the other on the floor with water coming from his mouth and his eyes wide open looking at him.

Polson said he again spoke to Quashie, but, still felt that the young man was just looking at him, then realised the situation was serious as he proceed to tap Quashie on his leg and ask him to wake up.

 Polson said he tried almost everything, slap, shake but nothing worked, the fisherman said he observed that the sole of Quashie’s feet were white, I looked at his hands and they too, were also white his body was cold and his coat was torn apart

Polson said he was never so frightened and nervous in his life so he then took out his phone to alert the police about what had happened, but the police were wasting time, he then called his wife who   contacted the hospital.  

While this was happening Polson said he checked the engine and realized that the lightning had cut all the wires. However he said he prayed that the coil was still intact which it was.

 In deep fright the fisherman said he reconnected the damaged wires and headed to Windward the nearest port sitting flat inside the boat 

On arrival at the Jetty Polson said, they got Quashie out of the boat but the ambulance took a long time to get to the jetty and the nurse was just moving at her own slow pace before they were taken to the Hospital.

Polson said he was also examined by the doctor and up to Sunday had no feeling in both the palm of his hands and soles of his feet.

He pointed out that although he would never be able to erase the fatal accident from his mind, he said that he is still thankful.

Quashie’s mother, Violet Rosemen, said that Marvin was a highly respectable, quiet and loving son.

She said that she was at work when she got the news to visit the hospital she described the moment as an unbelievable and heart breaking sight, seeing her son lying there.

His Father, Jim Quashie, who spoke to Marvin up to about mid-night on Friday said the loss is hard to accept.

 Mr Quashie, said that his son is always in his Bible, he asked him the night before if he wasn’t going to a session which his friend and he responded by saying he was going to sea early in the morning.

“His loss is a shock which would live with me forever as I would never forget my son left for the sea only for me to receive a call that he is in hospital and when I get there he was dead.

He will be greatly missed,” said Mr Quashie, as he wiped the tears away.

Jessica Quashie, shared her chilling experience hours before Marvin died, the Bishop’s college fifth former said that about 1 am on Saturday she was going outside to use the toilet when Marvin who was sitting on the veranda called out to her:

“Jessica I want you to pass all your six subjects because I would not be here for your graduation,” said Jessica who said that she only now understands why he uttered those words.

 Meanwhile Police reports that the post-mortem to determine cause of death would be done on Monday September 23rd.

The incident went viral, as it was the first of any such incident on the island to the extent that it garnered regional and international attention.

There were only two previously related lightning incidents of note in the past, one when fog lightning dismantled a meter in a house causing injuries to an elderly woman and the other where lightning damaged some clothing on a line.

Both incidents occurred in the community of Top-Hill, which is one of Carriacou’s highest residential areas.

According to a Google report -----A typical lightning bolt contains 1 billion volts and contains between 10,000 to 200,000 amperes of current. The average flash it is said could light a 100-watt bulb for 3 months.

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