It was supposed to be the perfect end to a weekend of celebrating the birthdays of two young people, in love.
Shivanie Ramkarran, 24, shared the same birthday as her boyfriend, Jonathan Loutan.
The couple celebrated at Ramkarran’s home on Sunday and then went out to dinner.
But Ramkarran loved the beach and wanted that to be the end of their birthday weekend of celebrations.
Loutan, 25, planned the day with his family at Double Bridge, Guayaguayare. It was a location they had visited many times together, he said.
But that day, he said, the waves were monstrous and unforgiving. Ramkarran got into difficulties in the water, about 10 feet from the shore, and went under. Minutes later, Ramkarran was seen floating and she was dragged to the shore where Loutan and other relatives desperately tried to save her.
She was pronounced dead at the Mayaro Health Facility.
Ramkarran lived at Rochard Douglas Road, Barrackpore, with her brother and parents.
Her mother, Camille Ramkarran, said her daughter loved the beach and she blamed no one for the tragedy. “Jonathan loved my daughter. They have known each other for five years and he treated her very well. I was not there but I understand he tried to save her and his father also. He almost drowned too,” she said.
The mother recalled her daughter’s birthday on Sunday. “She turned 24. She and her boyfriend both have the same birthday. She told me she wanted dhalpourie, curried potato and chicken. I made it early so she took her time and ate. She cut the cake with her brother, her grandmother and myself. Then she and Jonathan went out to dinner in the evening. She looked so beautiful. She was a daughter any mother will be proud of,” she said.
Camille Ramkarran, 40, said she received a call on Sunday evening that her daughter got into difficulties and was at the Mayaro Health Facility.
“Her daddy and I went there and met Jonathan in the carpark. I looked at him and said ‘tell me some good news’ but he shook his head. I knew I had lost my child,” she said.
Ramkarran’s father, Ricky Ramkarran, was inconsolable when the Express visited their home yesterday.
The mother said Ramkarran had recently completed her associate degree in business administration and was searching for a job.
In an interview with the Express at his Gasparillo home yesterday, Jonathan Loutan shared his beloved girlfriend’s last moments.
“We were holding hands and walking into the water. She was so happy. She loved the beach. If I had told her we can’t go she would have been disappointed,” he said.
At around 5pm, Loutan said, he and Ramkarran were bathing in knee-high water. His cousin and a friend were in the water nearby.
Loutan said the waves were high and the water suddenly became rough. Ramkarran began panicking, he said, she was screaming for help.
“She kept saying “Babe” and I was desperately trying to help her. I started pushing her out but I was also going down. The waves were hitting me down. Then she was panicking so much she started walking into the waves. I turned around for help but no one was there. We were pushed deep inside. I looked out and everyone looked like ants. I was screaming for help,” he cried.
Loutan said his father, Joash Loutan, ran into the water to help. “I heard Shivanie coughing because the water was getting inside her. My dad put me on a sand bank and said to stay there. I looked around and Shivanie was floating. My dad turned her over and we took her to the shore,” he said.
No ambulances came, despite numerous calls, and Loutan said he placed Ramkarran on his lap as a relative drove them to the Mayaro Health Facility.
Loutan said he prayed for her to survive as they had plans for a long life together. But 30 minutes later, Loutan was told that Ramkarran had died.
Loutan, a technician at the Vehicle Management Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (VMCOTT), said he had completed his own home and was looking forward to marrying Ramkarran and starting a life together.
Ramkarran’s body was taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex where an autopsy would be done.
Loutan’s father, Joash Loutan, said he was disappointed in the Emergency Medical Services response on Monday.
He said, “We called about 15 times but no ambulances came. When we went to the hospital two vehicles were parked there. That was poor. We were trying to do CPR ourselves. We also tried to flag down a passing ambulance two times but it did not stop.”
On Sunday, Stephen Marcano, 39, a fire officer attached to the Gasparillo Fire Station, drowned during a rescue attempt in Mayaro.
Marcano was trying to save his niece and other bathers who were in difficulty.
However, Marcano got into difficulty himself and was swept away.