February 13, 2009
‘Copper’ George drowns at Rawacou

Sunday, February 8, 2008, was just another ordinary day for Whitfield ‘Copper’ George – one that started with a few drinks of alcohol – by afternoon, all the fun was erased when his life ended in tragic circumstances.{{more}}

Reports claim that shortly after 2 p.m., the 57-year-old man encountered difficulty while swimming in the Rawacou waters and drowned a few minutes later.

His body was seen floating on the surface of the rough waters approximately 10 minutes after he went out of sight. The body of the Calder resident was retrieved from the waters and he was pronounced dead after efforts to revive him proved futile.

On Tuesday this week when SEARCHLIGHT visited his home, his relatives and friends were still trying to come to grips with his death.

“Why God have to put us in so much difficulties?” Bernice Lohyna, George’s sister, questioned.

Lohyna said she last saw her brother some time after 1 p.m. on Sunday.

She recalled on that day she had the flu and her brother had made her a cup of tea.

“I said: ‘Whitfield, you have a drink already, don’t drink anymore…’. He left and I didn’t see him again until I went to the beach after four,” Lohyna recalled.

The grieving sister, the last of 12 children, of which George was the 6th, said: “If he had only listened to me, he would have been alive today.”

David Lohyna, George’s nephew, recounting his uncle’s drowning, said he didn’t see when George went into the water, but only saw when he was struggling to swim ashore.

“The tide was pulling him. It was at that point we realized he was in difficulty. We asked someone to go and help him, but the person said he was not going out there because the water was too rough,” said David.

David’s mother interjected at that point and said if she was there she would have jumped into the sea to help ‘poor Copper’.

The young man said he was shocked and traumatized to witness his uncle dying before his eyes and couldn’t do anything to help him.

“When they brought his (George) body to the shore, there was no heartbeat or pulse. Somebody came and pumped him, but there was no sign of life,” David noted.

George had no children and he was once employed at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital as a male attendant.